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Whether One Votes and How One Votes


  • Fort, Rodney
  • Bunn, Douglas N


The aim of this paper is to determine if whether one votes effects the vote that is cast. Using an economic model of voting and observed voting results on nuclear power referenda, the answer is a resounding yes. Overcoming registration, turnout, and 'roll off' hurdles dramatically increases the odds of voting against nuclear power. Indeed, participation swamps both economic and preference variables in the explanation of nuclear power voting outcomes. The lesson is that there is a structure to participation at the polls that should not be ignored by those interested in analyzing voting outcomes. Copyright 1998 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

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  • Fort, Rodney & Bunn, Douglas N, 1998. "Whether One Votes and How One Votes," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 95(1-2), pages 51-62, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:95:y:1998:i:1-2:p:51-62

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    12. Matsusaka, John G, 1995. "Fiscal Effects of the Voter Initiative: Evidence from the Last 30 Years," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(3), pages 587-623, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Stefano Carattini & Andrea Baranzini & Philippe Thalmann & Frédéric Varone & Frank Vöhringer, 2017. "Green Taxes in a Post-Paris World: Are Millions of Nays Inevitable?," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 68(1), pages 97-128, September.
    2. Martorana, Marco F. & Mazza, Isidoro, 2012. "Adaptive voting: an empirical analysis of participation and choice," MPRA Paper 36165, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Goeschl, Timo, 2003. "Hijackers and Hostages in Non-binding Linked-Issues Referenda: Analysis and an Application," Staff Paper Series 466, University of Wisconsin, Agricultural and Applied Economics.
    4. Timo Goeschl, 2005. "Non-binding linked-issues referenda: Analysis and an application," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 124(3), pages 249-266, September.
    5. Sanne Zwart, 2010. "Ensuring a representative referendum outcome: the daunting task of setting the quorum right," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 34(4), pages 643-677, April.
    6. Hillman, Arye L., 2010. "Expressive behavior in economics and politics," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 403-418, December.
    7. Sanne Zwart, 2007. "Fixing the Quorum: Representation versus Abstention," Economics Working Papers ECO2007/07, European University Institute.

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