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Elections as Targeting Contests

  • César Martinelli

This paper develops a model of electoral turnout where parties compensate voters for showing up to the polls. Existence and uniqueness conditions are shown to impose substantial restrictions on the uncertainty about partisan support faced by the parties, and on the distribution of voting costs among citizens. The model predicts that voters in the minority will be more likely to vote, and that turnout increases with the importance of the election. The model can generate the observed correlation between election closeness and electoral turnout, lthough the cause of this correlation may depend on the distribution of voting costs.

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Paper provided by UCLA Department of Economics in its series Levine's Bibliography with number 122247000000001280.

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Date of creation: 27 Mar 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cla:levrem:122247000000001280
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  1. Jack Hirshleifer, 1989. "Conflict and rent-seeking success functions: Ratio vs. difference models of relative success," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 63(2), pages 101-112, November.
  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.
  3. Timothy J. Feddersen, 2004. "Rational Choice Theory and the Paradox of Not Voting," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(1), pages 99-112, Winter.
  4. 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.
  5. Herrera, Helios & Levine, David K. & Martinelli, César, 2008. "Policy platforms, campaign spending and voter participation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(3-4), pages 501-513, April.
  6. DHILLON, Amrita & PERALTA, Susana, . "Economic theories of voter turnout," CORE Discussion Papers RP 1563, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  7. Stephen Coate & Michael Conlin, 2004. "A Group Rule–Utilitarian Approach to Voter Turnout: Theory and Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1476-1504, December.
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