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Group formation and voter participation

  • Herrera, Helios

    ()

    (ITAM)

  • Martinelli, Cesar

    ()

    (ITAM)

We present a model of participation in large elections in which the formation of voter groups is endogenous. Partisan citizens decide whether to become leaders (activists) and try to persuade impressionable citizens to vote for the leaders' preferred party. In the (unique) pure strategy equilibrium, the number of leaders favoring each party depends on the cost of activism and the importance of the election. In turn, the expected turnout and the winning margin in an election depend on the number of leaders and the strength of social interactions. The model predicts a nonmonotonic relationship between the expected turnout and the winning margin in large elections.

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File URL: http://econtheory.org/ojs/index.php/te/article/viewFile/20060461/942/35
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Article provided by Econometric Society in its journal Theoretical Economics.

Volume (Year): 1 (2006)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 461-487

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Handle: RePEc:the:publsh:266
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://econtheory.org

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  1. Edward E. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1995. "Crime and Social Interactions," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1738, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  2. Barry Nalebuff & Roni Shachar, 1997. "Follow The Leader: Theory And Evidence On Political Participation," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm57, Yale School of Management.
  3. Martin J. Osborne & Al Slivinski, 1996. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(1), pages 65-96.
  4. Tim Besley & Stephen Coate, . ""An Economic Model of Representative Democracy''," CARESS Working Papres 95-02, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  5. Mutsusaka, J.G. & Palda, F., 1991. "The Downsian Voter Meets the Ecological Fallacy," Papers 91-30, Southern California - School of Business Administration.
  6. Stephen Coate & Michael Conlin, 2004. "A Group Rule–Utilitarian Approach to Voter Turnout: Theory and Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1476-1504, December.
  7. Thomas Palfrey & Howard Rosenthal, 1983. "A strategic calculus of voting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 7-53, January.
  8. Matsusaka, John G, 1995. "Explaining Voter Turnout Patterns: An Information Theory," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 84(1-2), pages 91-117, July.
  9. Matsusaka, John G, 1993. "Election Closeness and Voter Turnout: Evidence from California Ballot Propositions," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 76(4), pages 313-34, August.
  10. Knack, Steve, 1994. "Does Rain Help the Republicans? Theory and Evidence on Turnout and the Vote," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 79(1-2), pages 187-209, April.
  11. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135.
  12. John Ledyard, 1983. "The Pure Theory of Large Two Candidate Elections," Discussion Papers 569, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  13. Timothy J. Feddersen, 2004. "Rational Choice Theory and the Paradox of Not Voting," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(1), pages 99-112, Winter.
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