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Voters' dissatisfaction, abstention and entropy: analysis in European countries


  • Paulo Ferreira

    () (Universidade de Evora, CEFAGE-UE)

  • Andreia Dionisio

    () (Universidade de Evora, CEFAGE-UE)


This paper intends to explore the utilization of entropy through politics and election results, an area just slightly explored. It generalizes the interpretation of entropy, considering it a measure of dissatisfaction and disillusion of populations in relation to politics. Some phenomena like the increase of abstention in a country, consequence of the dissatisfaction of population and of their alienation in relation to politics could be detected and analysed. This discontentment could result, for example, in the appearance of new political parties, with more division of votes and increasing entropy (result of the discontentment and uncertainty by electors). Absolute majorities, while imply less dispersion of votes, are synonym of more confidence in a given party, making a reduction of entropy.

Suggested Citation

  • Paulo Ferreira & Andreia Dionisio, 2008. "Voters' dissatisfaction, abstention and entropy: analysis in European countries," CEFAGE-UE Working Papers 2008_11, University of Evora, CEFAGE-UE (Portugal).
  • Handle: RePEc:cfe:wpcefa:2008_11

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Paldam, Martin & Skott, Peter, 1995. "A Rational-Voter Explanation of the Cost of Ruling," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 83(1-2), pages 159-172, April.
    2. Timothy J. Fedderson & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1996. "Abstention in Elections with Asymmetric Information and Diverse Preferences," Discussion Papers 1195, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
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    More about this item


    Entropy; Electoral Results; Satisfaction and Dissatisfaction of Population.;

    JEL classification:

    • C19 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Other
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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