IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/spr/sjecst/v153y2017i3d10.1007_bf03399509.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Partisan Campaigning and Initiative Petition Signing in Direct Democracies

Author

Listed:
  • Katharina E. Hofer

    () (University of St. Gallen, Swiss Institute for Empirical Economic Research)

Abstract

Summary This paper investigates whether popular initiatives signed by a larger share of the population have higher acceptance rates at the subsequent vote. The main analysis is based on all Swiss federal initiatives voted between 1978 and 2000 with a panel of aggregate voting data at cantonal level. The results suggest that petition signing is positively and significantly related to acceptance rates at ballot. I address potential omitted variable bias from underlying preferences which might be driving both signatures and acceptance rates in three ways. First, the panel structure of the data allows to control for time-constant preferences via fixed effects. Second, results are robust to various proxies for voter preferences. Third, using the doubling of the signature requirement in 1978 as an instrumental variable confirms the above result. The findings imply that petition signing can serve as an effective partisan campaigning tool.

Suggested Citation

  • Katharina E. Hofer, 2017. "Partisan Campaigning and Initiative Petition Signing in Direct Democracies," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics, Springer;Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics, vol. 153(3), pages 261-291, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:sjecst:v:153:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_bf03399509
    DOI: 10.1007/BF03399509
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://link.springer.com/10.1007/BF03399509
    File Function: Abstract
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Patricia Funk & Christina Gathmann, 2011. "Does Direct Democracy Reduce the Size of Government? New Evidence from Historical Data, 1890–2000," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(557), pages 1252-1280, December.
    2. Allison Dale & Aaron Strauss, 2009. "Don't Forget to Vote: Text Message Reminders as a Mobilization Tool," American Journal of Political Science, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 53(4), pages 787-804, October.
    3. Patricia Funk, 2010. "Social Incentives and Voter Turnout: Evidence from the Swiss Mail Ballot System," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(5), pages 1077-1103, September.
    4. A. Colin Cameron & Jonah B. Gelbach & Douglas L. Miller, 2008. "Bootstrap-Based Improvements for Inference with Clustered Errors," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 414-427, August.
    5. Roland Hodler & Simon Luechinger & Alois Stutzer, 2015. "The Effects of Voting Costs on the Democratic Process and Public Finances," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 7(1), pages 141-171, February.
    6. Joshua J. Dyck & Nicholas R. Seabrook, 2010. "Mobilized by Direct Democracy: Short‐Term Versus Long‐Term Effects and the Geography of Turnout in Ballot Measure Elections," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 91(1), pages 188-208, March.
    7. Chad Kendall & Tommaso Nannicini & Francesco Trebbi, 2015. "How Do Voters Respond to Information? Evidence from a Randomized Campaign," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(1), pages 322-353, January.
    8. Frederick J. Boehmke & R. Michael Alvarez, 2014. "The Influence of Initiative Signature-Gathering Campaigns on Political Participation," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 95(1), pages 165-183, March.
    9. Feld, Lars P. & Matsusaka, John G., 2003. "Budget referendums and government spending: evidence from Swiss cantons," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(12), pages 2703-2724, December.
    10. McFadden, Daniel, 1980. "Econometric Models for Probabilistic Choice among Products," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(3), pages 13-29, July.
    11. Nickerson, David W., 2008. "Is Voting Contagious? Evidence from Two Field Experiments," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 102(1), pages 49-57, February.
    12. Arianna Degan & Antonio Merlo, 2011. "A Structural Model Of Turnout And Voting In Multiple Elections," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 209-245, April.
    13. Matsusaka, John G, 1995. "Explaining Voter Turnout Patterns: An Information Theory," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 84(1-2), pages 91-117, July.
    14. Alan Gerber & Matthew Green & Donald Green, 2003. "Partisan mail and voter turnout: Results from randomized field experiments," Natural Field Experiments 00250, The Field Experiments Website.
    15. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135-135.
    16. Ebonya Washington & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2009. "Sticking with Your Vote: Cognitive Dissonance and Political Attitudes," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 86-111, January.
    17. Daniel Bochsler, 2010. "The Marquis de Condorcet goes to Bern," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 144(1), pages 119-131, July.
    18. Alan Gerber & Donald Green, 2001. "Do phone calls increase voter turnout? A field experiment," Natural Field Experiments 00249, The Field Experiments Website.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. León, Gianmarco, 2017. "Turnout, political preferences and information: Experimental evidence from Peru," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 56-71.
    2. Lyytikäinen, Teemu & Tukiainen, Janne, 2019. "Are voters rational?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 230-242.
    3. Xavier Giné & Ghazala Mansuri, 2018. "Together We Will: Experimental Evidence on Female Voting Behavior in Pakistan," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 207-235, January.
    4. Fernanda Leite Lopez Leon & Renata Rizzi, 2016. "Does forced voting result in political polarization?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 166(1), pages 143-160, January.
    5. Garmann, Sebastian, 2016. "Concurrent elections and turnout: Causal estimates from a German quasi-experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 126(PA), pages 167-178.
    6. Galletta, Sergio & Jametti, Mario, 2015. "How to tame two Leviathans? Revisiting the effect of direct democracy on local public expenditure in a federation," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 82-93.
    7. Jaronicki, Katharina, 2013. "Campaigning in Direct Democracies: Initiative Petition Signing, Voter Turnout, and Acceptance," Economics Working Paper Series 1333, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
    8. Andersen, Jørgen Juel & Heggedal, Tom-Reiel, 2019. "Political rents and voter information in search equilibrium," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 146-168.
    9. De Benedetto, Marco Alberto & De Paola, Maria, 2019. "Term limit extension and electoral participation. Evidence from a diff-in-discontinuities design at the local level in Italy," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 196-211.
    10. Andersen, Jørgen Juel & Fiva, Jon H. & Natvik, Gisle James, 2014. "Voting when the stakes are high," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 157-166.
    11. Sebastian Garmann, 2017. "The effect of a reduction in the opening hours of polling stations on turnout," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 171(1), pages 99-117, April.
    12. Ming Li & Dipjyoti Majumdar, 2010. "A Psychologically Based Model of Voter Turnout," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 12(5), pages 979-1002, October.
    13. Fernanda L L de Leon, 2013. "Adding Ideology to the Equation: New Predictions for Election Results under Compulsory Voting," University of East Anglia Applied and Financial Economics Working Paper Series 044, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
    14. Francesco Drago & Tommaso Nannicini & Francesco Sobbrio, 2014. "Meet the Press: How Voters and Politicians Respond to Newspaper Entry and Exit," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(3), pages 159-188, July.
    15. Funk, Patricia & Litschig, Stephan, 2020. "Policy choices in assembly versus representative democracy: Evidence from Swiss communes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 182(C).
    16. Roland Hodler & Simon Luechinger & Alois Stutzer, 2015. "The Effects of Voting Costs on the Democratic Process and Public Finances," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 7(1), pages 141-171, February.
    17. Mechtenberg, Lydia & Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2019. "Voter motivation and the quality of democratic choice," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 241-259.
    18. Antonio Merlo & Thomas R. Palfrey, 2018. "External validation of voter turnout models by concealed parameter recovery," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 176(1), pages 297-314, July.
    19. Hoffman, Mitchell & León, Gianmarco & Lombardi, María, 2017. "Compulsory voting, turnout, and government spending: Evidence from Austria," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 145(C), pages 103-115.
    20. Joseph McMurray, 2015. "The paradox of information and voter turnout," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 165(1), pages 13-23, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    D72;

    JEL classification:

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

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:sjecst:v:153:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_bf03399509. 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: (Sonal Shukla) or (Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing). General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.