Expected Benefits of Voting and Voter Turnout
This empirical study seeks to identify key aggregate-level economic and non-economic determinants of the expected benefits from voting and hence aggregate voter turnout. A unique dimension of this study is the hypothesis that PAC (political action committee) election campaign contributions, e.g., to U.S. Senate races, may reduce the expected benefits of voting and hence voter turnout because the greater the growth of real PAC contributions, the greater the extent to which eligible voters may become concerned that these contributions lead to PAC political influence over elected officials. Indeed, this study finds for the period 1960-2000 that the voter participation rate has been negatively impacted by the growth in real PAC contributions to Senate election campaigns. Another interesting finding is that voter turnout is directly/positively related to strong public approval or strong public disapproval of the incumbent President. This study also finds that the voter participation rate has been positively impacted by the opportunity to vote in Presidential elections, the Vietnam War, a “too slowly” growing real GDP, and inflation rates when they exceed five percent per annum. Furthermore, this study also finds the voter participation rate to have been negatively impacted by the public’s general dissatisfaction with government.
|Date of creation:||2007|
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