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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. Barry Nalebuff & Roni Shachar, 1997. "Follow The Leader: Theory And Evidence On Political Participation," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm57, Yale School of Management.
  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. Matsusaka, John G, 1993. " Election Closeness and Voter Turnout: Evidence from California Ballot Propositions," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 76(4), pages 313-34, August.
  4. Copeland, Cassandra & Laband, David N, 2002. " Expressiveness and Voting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 110(3-4), pages 351-63, March.
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  9. Kliemt, Hartmut, 1986. "The veil of insignificance," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 333-344.
  10. 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.
  11. Nagler, Jonathan & Leighley, Jan, 1992. " Presidential Campaign Expenditures: Evidence on Allocations and Effects," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 73(3), pages 319-33, April.
  12. 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.
  13. Carter, John R & Guerette, Stephen D, 1992. " An Experimental Study of Expressive Voting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 73(3), pages 251-60, April.
  14. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gaechter, . "Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocitys," IEW - Working Papers 040, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  15. Matsusaka, John G, 1995. " Explaining Voter Turnout Patterns: An Information Theory," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 84(1-2), pages 91-117, July.
  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. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. Brennan, Geoffrey & Hamlin, Alan, 1998. " Expressive Voting and Electoral Equilibrium," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 95(1-2), pages 149-75, April.
  21. 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.
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  24. Pagan, Adrian, 1987. " Three Econometric Methodologies: A Critical Appraisal," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(1), pages 3-24.
  25. 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.
  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. 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.
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