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The Value of the Vote: A Model and Test of the Effects of Turnout on Distributive Policy

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  • Fleck, Robert K

Abstract

This article demonstrates important effects of voter participation. A model shows why, for some types of distributive policy, incumbents are more likely to be reelected if high-turnout regions receive more funds than do low-turnout regions. This prediction is tested with county-level data from the New Deal's Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA). The estimates suggest that by voting rather than not voting an individual increased by about $30 the expected FERA allocation for the individual's county. The size of the estimated effect differs across states. Copyright 1999 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Fleck, Robert K, 1999. "The Value of the Vote: A Model and Test of the Effects of Turnout on Distributive Policy," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 37(4), pages 609-623, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:37:y:1999:i:4:p:609-23
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    Cited by:

    1. Gary Hoover & Paul Pecorino, 2005. "The Political Determinants of Federal Expenditure at the State Level," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 123(1), pages 95-113, April.
    2. Sorensen, Todd A. & Fishback, Price & Allen, Samuel K. & Kantor, Shawn, 2007. "Migration Creation, Diversion, and Retention: New Deal Grants and Migration: 1935-1940," IZA Discussion Papers 3060, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. McIntosh Craig & Allen Jacob, 2009. "Using the Error in Pre-Election Polls to Test for the Presence of Pork," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-37, March.
    4. Dino Falaschetti, 2004. "Can Voting Reduce Welfare? Evidence from the US Telecommunications Sector," Public Economics 0401009, EconWPA.
    5. John Joseph Wallis & Price Fishback & Shawn Kantor, 2005. "Politics, Relief, and Reform: The Transformation of America's Social Welfare System during the New Deal," NBER Working Papers 11080, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Alois Stutzer & Lukas Kienast, 2005. "Demokratische Beteiligung und Staatsausgaben: Die Auswirkungen des Frauenstimmrechts," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 141(IV), pages 617-650, December.
    7. Fishback, Price V. & Kantor, Shawn & Wallis, John Joseph, 2003. "Can the New Deal's three Rs be rehabilitated? A program-by-program, county-by-county analysis," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 278-307, July.
    8. Price Fishback & Samuel Allen & Jonathan Fox & Brendan Livingston, 2010. "A Patchwork Safety Net: A Survey Of Cliometric Studies Of Income Maintenance Programs In The United States In The First Half Of The Twentieth Century," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(5), pages 895-940, December.
    9. Dino Falaschetti, 2004. "Can Voting Reduce Welfare? Evidence from the US Telecommunications Sector," Public Economics 0401006, EconWPA.
    10. Dino Falaschetti, 2003. "Can latent groups influence policy decisions? The case of telecommunications policy," Public Economics 0311002, EconWPA.
    11. Fleck, Robert K., 2013. "Why did the electorate swing between parties during the Great Depression?," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 599-619.
    12. Stoian, Adrian & Fishback, Price, 2010. "Welfare spending and mortality rates for the elderly before the Social Security era," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 1-27, January.
    13. Dino Falaschetti, 2003. "Voter Turnout, Regulatory Commitment, and Capital Accumulation: Evidence from the US Telecommunications Sector," Microeconomics 0311002, EconWPA.
    14. Fishback, Price V. & Horrace, William C. & Kantor, Shawn, 2006. "The impact of New Deal expenditures on mobility during the Great Depression," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 179-222, April.
    15. Yusaku Horichi & Jun Saito, 2009. "Rain, ElectionS and MOney : The impact of voter turnout on distributive policy outcomes in japan," Governance Working Papers 22875, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.

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