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Does Political Knowledge Increase Turnout? Evidence from the 1997 British General Election

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  • Valentino Larcinese

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Valentino Larcinese, 2005. "Does Political Knowledge Increase Turnout? Evidence from the 1997 British General Election," STICERD - Political Economy and Public Policy Paper Series 01, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:stipep:01
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jo Thori Lind & Dominic Rohner, 2017. "Knowledge is Power: A Theory of Information, Income and Welfare Spending," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 84(336), pages 611-646, October.
    2. Samuele Poy & Simone Schüller, 2016. "Internet and Voting in the Web 2.0 Era: Evidence from a Local Broadband Policy," CESifo Working Paper Series 6129, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Revelli, Federico, 2008. "Performance competition in local media markets," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(7), pages 1585-1594, July.
    4. repec:cep:stieop:48 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Piolatto, Amedeo & Schuett, Florian, 2015. "Media competition and electoral politics," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 80-93.
    6. repec:aea:aejmic:v:9:y:2017:i:4:p:108-40 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Tito Boeri & Guido Tabellini, 2012. "Does information increase political support for pension reform?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 150(1), pages 327-362, January.
    8. Joseph McMurray, 2015. "The paradox of information and voter turnout," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 165(1), pages 13-23, October.
    9. Oliveros, Santiago, 2013. "Abstention, ideology and information acquisition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(3), pages 871-902.
    10. Gavazza, Alessandro & Nardotto, Mattia & Valletti, Tommaso, 2015. "Internet and Politics: Evidence from U.K. Local Elections and Local Government Policies," CEPR Discussion Papers 10991, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Alejandro Corvalan & Paulo Cox, 2014. "`Can I register to vote before I am 18?'Information Costs and Participation," Working Papers 60, Facultad de Economía y Empresa, Universidad Diego Portales.
    12. Esben Hogh & Martin Vinæs Larsen, 2016. "Can Information Increase Turnout in European Parliament Elections? Evidence from a Quasi-experiment in Denmark," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(6), pages 1495-1508, November.
    13. Raphael Bruce & Rudi Rocha, 2014. "The Reaction of Elites in a Democratization Process: Evidence from Brazil," Working Papers, Department of Economics 2014_09, University of São Paulo (FEA-USP).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    voting; information; mass media; political participation;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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