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

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  • Gebhard Kirchgässner
  • Tobias Schulz

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Gebhard Kirchgässner & Tobias Schulz, 2005. "Expected Closeness or Mobilisation: Why Do Voters Go to the Polls? Empirical Results for Switzerland, 1981 – 1999," CESifo Working Paper Series 1387, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1387
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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp1387.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Kirchgassner, Gebhard, 2005. "(Why) are economists different?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 543-562, September.
    2. Antonio Merlo, 2005. "Whither Political Economy? Theories, Facts and Issues," PIER Working Paper Archive 05-033, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 01 Dec 2005.

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    Keywords

    expected closeness; expressive voting; campaign expenditure; turnout; direct democracy;

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