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Are voters rationally ignorant? An empirical study of Portuguese local elections

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  • Ester Silva

    ()

  • José Silva Costa

    ()

Abstract

The application of the rational choice postulate to a political context invariably leads to the conclusion that most voters are ill informed when making the decision for whom to vote. In this paper, the authors do an empirical evaluation of the rational ignorance theory, based on the results of the 1997 Portuguese Local Elections. The results only partially sustain the hypothesis of rational ignorance, although it is also possible to identify several limitations that prevent the establishment of definite conclusions in this specific field.JEL Classification: H7 Key words: VoterÂ’s Behaviour; Local Elections; Local Governments; Portugal.
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Suggested Citation

  • Ester Silva & José Silva Costa, 2006. "Are voters rationally ignorant? An empirical study of Portuguese local elections," Portuguese Economic Journal, Springer;Instituto Superior de Economia e Gestao, vol. 5(1), pages 31-44, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:portec:v:5:y:2006:i:1:p:31-44 DOI: 10.1007/s10258-006-0002-9
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Voters’ behaviour; DEA analysis; Local elections; Local governments; Portugal;

    JEL classification:

    • H7 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations

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