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The Impact of Social Conditioning (Internal Motivation) on the Probability of Voting


  • Garey C. Durden
  • Richard J. Cebula
  • Patricia Gaynor


This paper extends the well known rational interest voting (rational voter) model to include a composite measure to capture the residual effects of internal, sociological motives not previously accounted for in empirical studies of general election voting. These motives are referred to here as “social conditioning” or “internal motivation” and may to at least some extent reflect a sense of duty or sense of civic duty to vote, as well as a simple “habit” of voting. Estimations using CPS data from the 1984 Presidential elections suggest that previously unmeasured internal motives, which we capture in a variable called “Social Conditioning,” may exert a powerful influence on individual voting behavior.

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  • Garey C. Durden & Richard J. Cebula & Patricia Gaynor, 2007. "The Impact of Social Conditioning (Internal Motivation) on the Probability of Voting," Working Papers 07-05, Department of Economics, Appalachian State University.
  • Handle: RePEc:apl:wpaper:07-05

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Richard Cebula, 2004. "Expressiveness and voting: Alternative evidence," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 32(3), pages 216-221, September.
    2. R. Tollison & T. Willett, 1973. "Some simple economics of voting and not voting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 59-71, September.
    3. Kau, James B & Rubin, Paul H, 1979. "Self-Interest, Ideology, and Logrolling in Congressional Voting," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(2), pages 365-384, October.
    4. Garey Durden & Patricia Gaynor, 1987. "The rational behavior theory of voting participation: Evidence from the 1970 and 1982 elections," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 53(3), pages 231-242, January.
    5. Richard Cebula & Dennis Murphy, 1984. "The Electoral College and voter participation rates: Reply," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 43(1), pages 101-102, January.
    6. Richard Cebula, 2001. "The electoral college and voter participation: Evidence on two hypotheses," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 29(3), pages 304-310, September.
    7. Kirchgassner, Gebhard & Himmern, Anne Meyer Zu, 1997. "Expected Closeness and Turnout: An Empirical Analysis for the German General Elections, 1983-1994," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 91(1), pages 3-25, April.
    8. Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
    9. Matsusaka, John G & Palda, Filip, 1999. "Voter Turnout: How Much Can We Explain?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 98(3-4), pages 431-446, March.
    10. Gordon Tullock, 2006. "Some Thoughts on the Voting Process," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 34(1), pages 41-46, March.
    11. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135-135.
    12. Mark Burkey & Garey Durden, 1998. "The Political Economy of Clean Air Legislation," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 11(2), pages 119-134, March.
    13. Bruno Frey, 1971. "Why do high income people participate more in politics?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 101-105, September.
    14. repec:cup:apsrev:v:62:y:1968:i:01:p:25-42_11 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Heckelman, J C, 1995. "The Effect of the Secret Ballot on Voter Turnout Rates," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 82(1-2), pages 107-124, January.
    16. Hird, John A, 1993. "Congressional Voting on Superfund: Self-Interest or Ideology?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 77(2), pages 333-357, October.
    17. Jonathan Silberman & Garey Durden, 1975. "The rational behavior theory of voter participation," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 101-108, September.
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