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Voting when the stakes are high

Author

Listed:
  • Gisle James Natvik

    () (Norges Bank (Central Bank of Norway))

  • Jørgen Juel Andersen

    () (Norwegian School of Management)

  • Jon H. Fiva

    () (University of Oslo)

Abstract

Rational choice theories of electoral participation stress that an individual's decision to vote depends on her expected net benefit from doing so. If this instrumental motive is relevant, then turnout should be higher in elections where more is at stake. We test this prediction, by studying how turnout is affected by exogenous variation in governments' financial exibility to provide pork for their voters. By utilizing simultaneous elections for different offices, we identify a positive effect of election stakes on turnout.

Suggested Citation

  • Gisle James Natvik & Jørgen Juel Andersen & Jon H. Fiva, 2010. "Voting when the stakes are high," Working Paper 2010/15, Norges Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:bno:worpap:2010_15
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    Cited by:

    1. Claus Michelsen & Peter Boenisch & Benny Geys, 2014. "(De)Centralization and voter turnout: theory and evidence from German municipalities," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 159(3), pages 469-483, June.
    2. 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.
    3. Fiva, Jon H. & Folke, Olle, 2016. "Mechanical and Psychological Effects of Electoral Reform," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(02), pages 265-279, April.
    4. repec:spr:italej:v:3:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s40797-017-0050-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Fiva, Jon H. & Halse, Askill H., 2016. "Local favoritism in at-large proportional representation systems," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C), pages 15-26.
    6. Federico Revelli, 2016. "Tax limits and local elections," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 166(1), pages 53-68, January.
    7. Federico Revelli, 2017. "Voter Turnout in Italian Municipal Elections, 2002–2013," Italian Economic Journal: A Continuation of Rivista Italiana degli Economisti and Giornale degli Economisti, Springer;Società Italiana degli Economisti (Italian Economic Association), vol. 3(2), pages 151-165, July.
    8. Elsayyad, May & Konrad, Kai A., 2012. "Fighting multiple tax havens," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 295-305.
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    10. Peter Bönisch & Benny Geys & Claus Michelsen, 2015. "David and Goliath in the Poll Booth: Group Size, Voting Power and Voter Turnout," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1491, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    11. Borge, Lars-Erik & Parmer, Pernille & Torvik, Ragnar, 2015. "Local natural resource curse?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 101-114.
    12. Garmann, Sebastian, 2017. "Election frequency, choice fatigue, and voter turnout," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 19-35.
    13. Felix Arnold, 2015. "Turnout and Closeness: Evidence from 60 Years of Bavarian Mayoral Elections," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1462, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    14. Federico Revelli, 2013. "Tax limits and local democracy," Working Papers 2013/29, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    15. Johannes Meya & Panu Poutvaara & Robert Schwager, 2015. "Pocketbook Voting and Social Preferences in Referenda," CESifo Working Paper Series 5267, CESifo Group Munich.
    16. Lyytikäinen, Teemu & Tukiainen, Janne, 2013. "Are Voters Rational?," Working Papers 50, VATT Institute for Economic Research.
    17. Jon H. Fiva & Olle Folke & Rune J. Sørensen, 2013. "The Power of Parties," CESifo Working Paper Series 4119, CESifo Group Munich.
    18. Geys, Benny, 2012. "Success and failure in electoral competition: Selective issue emphasis under incomplete issue ownership," Discussion Papers, Research Professorship & Project "The Future of Fiscal Federalism" SP II 2012-102, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    19. repec:eee:pubeco:v:152:y:2017:i:c:p:47-54 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. repec:eee:eecrev:v:101:y:2018:i:c:p:142-156 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Lapointe, Simon & Saarimaa, Tuukka & Tukiainen, Janne, 2018. "Effects of Municipal Mergers on Voter Turnout," Working Papers 106, VATT Institute for Economic Research.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Voter Motivation; Elections; Turnout;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue

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