Voter Turnout: How Much Can We Explain?
This paper evaluates the ability of common explanatory variables to predict who votes. Logit voting regressions are estimated with more than three dozen explanatory variables using survey and aggregate data for the 1979, 1980, 1984, and 1988 Canadian national elections. The authors find that the usual demographic variables such as age and education, and contextual variables such as campaign spending have significant effects on the probability of voting, but the models have low R-square's and cannot predict who votes more accurately than random guessing. They also estimate regressions using past voting behavior as a predictor of current behavior, and find that although the explanatory power rises it remains low. This suggests that the difficulty in explaining turnout arises primarily from omitted time-varying variables. In some sense, then, it appears that whether or not a person votes is to a large degree random. The evidence provides support for the rational voter theory, and is problematic for psycho/sociological approaches. Copyright 1999 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:98:y:1999:i:3-4:p:431-46. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Guenther Eichhorn)or (Christopher F. Baum)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.