Does Political Knowledge Increase Turnout? Evidence from the 1997 British General Election
A number of recent formal models predict a positive effect of politicalknowledge on turnout. Both information acquisition and turnout, however,are likely to be determined by a similar set of variables, rendering hard theidentification of a causal link in empirical investigations. Availableempirical regularities should therefore be interpreted as mere correlations. Iaddress this problem by using an instrumental variables approach, where theinstruments are represented by various proxies of information supply onmass media. Using survey data from the 1997 British General ElectionStudy, I show that political knowledge has a sizeable influence on theprobability of voting and that mass media play an important role ininfluencing political participation.
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