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Voter Turnout in Italian Municipal Elections, 2002–2013

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  • Federico Revelli

    () (University of Torino)

Abstract

Abstract This paper investigates the determinants of voter turnout in a panel dataset of more than 15,000 Italian municipal elections through over a decade (2002–2013). The estimation results show a significant negative effect of the size of the electorate on voter turnout, and an impact of its demographic structure that is compatible with the political life-cycle hypothesis. Moreover, turnout is systematically higher when municipal elections are held concomitantly as more salient contests, and all indicators of election closeness are estimated to influence voter turnout in the expected direction: turnout is increasing in the number of mayor candidates, it is decreasing in the win margin of the mayor, and it is significantly lower, and by almost seven percentage points, in uncontested elections. Finally, while the overall rate of voter turnout falls by about ten percentage points during the period I analyze, predicted turnout on observables shows no declining trend, suggesting that neither demographic trends nor changes in the degree of electoral competition over time can be deemed responsible for the observed decline in voter turnout.

Suggested Citation

  • Federico Revelli, 2017. "Voter Turnout in Italian Municipal Elections, 2002–2013," Italian Economic Journal: A Continuation of Rivista Italiana degli Economisti and Giornale degli Economisti, Springer;Società Italiana degli Economisti (Italian Economic Association), vol. 3(2), pages 151-165, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:italej:v:3:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s40797-017-0050-6
    DOI: 10.1007/s40797-017-0050-6
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Lo Prete, Anna & Revelli, Federico, 2014. "Voter Turnout and City Performance," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201435, University of Turin.
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    7. Amrita Dhillon & Susana Peralta, 2002. "Economic Theories Of Voter Turnout," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(480), pages 332-352, June.
    8. Claus Michelsen & Peter Boenisch & Benny Geys, 2014. "(De)Centralization and voter turnout: theory and evidence from German municipalities," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 159(3), pages 469-483, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bracco, Emanuele & Revelli, Federico, 2018. "Concurrent elections and political accountability: Evidence from Italian local elections," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 148(C), pages 135-149.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Voting; Turnout; Political life-cycle; Salience; Electoral uncertainty;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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