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Electoral rules and voter turnout

Author

Listed:
  • Guglielmo Barone

    () (Bank of Italy)

  • Guido de Blasio

    () (Bank of Italy)

Abstract

The paper investigates the effect of electoral rules on voter turnout. It focuses on Italian municipalities, where voting schemes are differentiated by the size of the city: a single ballot system applies to municipalities with less than 15,000 inhabitants, while a dual ballot system is in place above that threshold. By exploiting this discontinuity, the paper finds that the dual ballot increases participation at the local polls, with an estimated effect of about 1 percentage point. The increase in voter turnout is associated with wider political representation, politicians of higher quality, greater fiscal discipline, and more robust local development. Finally, we document that the higher political participation triggered by local electoral rules extends to nationwide voting contexts.

Suggested Citation

  • Guglielmo Barone & Guido de Blasio, 2011. "Electoral rules and voter turnout," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 833, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_833_11
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:bla:germec:v:18:y:2017:i:1:p:22-50 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Tommaso Giommoni, 2017. "Exposition to Corruption and Political Participation: Evidence from Italian Municipalities," CESifo Working Paper Series 6645, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Antonio Accetturo, 2014. "Political selection in the skilled city," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 956, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    4. De Benedetto, Marco Alberto & De Paola, Maria, 2014. "Candidates' Quality and Electoral Participation: Evidence from Italian Municipal Elections," IZA Discussion Papers 8102, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. repec:bla:jregsc:v:57:y:2017:i:2:p:319-341 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Emanuele Bracco & Alberto Brugnoli, 2012. "Runoff vs. plurality," Working Papers 23767067, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
    7. Alberto Batinti & Andrea Filippetti & Luca Andriani, 2017. "Why Does Social Capital Increase Government Performance? The Role of Local Elections across Italian Municipalities," Management Working Papers 13, Birkbeck Department of Management, revised Apr 2017.
    8. Andrew C. Eggers & Ronny Freier & Veronica Grembi & Tommaso Nannicini, 2015. "Regression Discontinuity Designs Based on Population Thresholds: Pitfalls and Solutions," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1503, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    9. Giovanna d'Adda & Guido Blasio, 2017. "Historical Legacy And Policy Effectiveness: The Long-Term Influence Of Preunification Borders In Italy," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 319-341, March.
    10. Paolo Chiades & Luciano Greco & Vanni Menegotto & Luigi Moretti & Paola Valbonesi, 2015. "Fiscal Consolidation and Expenditure Arrears: Evidence from Local Governments’ Investments," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0197, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".

    More about this item

    Keywords

    voter turnout; electoral systems; regression discontinuity design;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H73 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Interjurisdictional Differentials and Their Effects

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