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Expected Closeness or Mobilisation: Why Do Voters Go to the Polls? Empirical Results for Switzerland, 1981 – 1999

  • Gebhard Kirchgässner
  • Tobias Schulz

Using data of Swiss referenda from 1981 to 1999, this paper presents new empirical results which allow us to discriminate better between the decision and mobilisation hypotheses of electoral participation. First, theoretical considerations which lead to these hypotheses are presented as well as the theory of expressive voting, and a survey of the available empirical evidence is given. Then, we describe the empirical approach before we come to its results. Those are much in line with the mobilisation but do not support the decision hypothesis. They are, however, also only partly compatible with the theory of expressive voting.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2005/wp-cesifo-2005-01/cesifo1_wp1387.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1387.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1387
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  1. Nagler, Jonathan & Leighley, Jan, 1992. " Presidential Campaign Expenditures: Evidence on Allocations and Effects," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 73(3), pages 319-33, April.
  2. Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2004. "Voting when money and morals conflict: an experimental test of expressive voting," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1645-1664, July.
  3. Greene, Kenneth V & Nelson, Phillip J, 2002. " If Extremists Vote How Do They Express Themselves? An Empirical Test of an Expressive Theory of Voting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 113(3-4), pages 425-36, December.
  4. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gaechter, 2000. "Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocity," CESifo Working Paper Series 336, CESifo Group Munich.
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  6. Kan, Kamhon & Yang, C C, 2001. " On Expressive Voting: Evidence from the 1988 U.S. Presidential Election," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 108(3-4), pages 295-312, September.
  7. Kirchgassner, Gebhard, 1992. "Towards a theory of low-cost decisions," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 305-320, May.
  8. Barry Nalebuff & Ron Shachar, 1999. "Follow the Leader: Theory and Evidence on Political Participation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 525-547, June.
  9. James M. Buchanan, 1954. "Individual Choice in Voting and the Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 62, pages 334.
  10. Palda, Kristian S, 1975. "The Effect of Expenditure on Political Success: Reply," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 779-80, December.
  11. Matsusaka, John G, 1993. " Election Closeness and Voter Turnout: Evidence from California Ballot Propositions," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 76(4), pages 313-34, August.
  12. Pagan, Adrian, 1987. " Three Econometric Methodologies: A Critical Appraisal," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(1), pages 3-24.
  13. Matsusaka, John G & Palda, Filip, 1999. " Voter Turnout: How Much Can We Explain?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 98(3-4), pages 431-46, March.
  14. Palda, Kristian S, 1975. "The Effect of Expenditure on Political Success," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 745-71, December.
  15. Kirchgassner, Gebhard & Pommerehne, Werner W, 1993. " Low-Cost Decisions as a Challenge to Public Choice," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 77(1), pages 107-15, September.
  16. Chamberlain, Gary & Rothschild, Michael, 1981. "A note on the probability of casting a decisive vote," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 152-162, August.
  17. Brennan, Geoffrey & Lomasky, Loren, 1985. "The Impartial Spectator Goes to Washington: Toward a Smithian Theory of Electoral Behavior," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(02), pages 189-211, October.
  18. Susan Feigenbaum & Lynn Karoly & David Levy, 1988. "When votes are words not deeds: Some evidence from the Nuclear Freeze Referendum," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 58(3), pages 201-216, September.
  19. Carter, John R & Guerette, Stephen D, 1992. " An Experimental Study of Expressive Voting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 73(3), pages 251-60, April.
  20. Matsusaka, John G, 1995. " Explaining Voter Turnout Patterns: An Information Theory," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 84(1-2), pages 91-117, July.
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  22. Brennan, Geoffrey & Lomasky, Loren E., 1987. "The Logic of Electoral Preference: Response to Saraydar and Hudelson," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(01), pages 131-138, April.
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  24. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521894753 is not listed on IDEAS
  25. Kirchgassner, Gebhard & Schimmelpfenning, Jorg, 1992. " Closeness Counts If It Matters for Electoral Victory: Some Empirical Results for the United Kingdom and the Federal Republic of Germany," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 73(3), pages 283-99, April.
  26. Kirchgassner, Gebhard & Himmern, Anne Meyer Zu, 1997. " Expected Closeness and Turnout: An Empirical Analysis for the German General Elections, 1983-1994," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 91(1), pages 3-25, April.
  27. Kliemt, Hartmut, 1986. "The veil of insignificance," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 333-344.
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