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On the (Non) Paradox of (Not) Voting

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  • Castanheira, Micael

Abstract

Why do people vote? This question received a lot of attention for more than thirty years, and yet remains unanswered. In this Paper, we take stock of existing empirical regularities and argue that we can use them to improve the model of instrumental voting. Once this is done, we show that purely rational/instrumental factors actually explain a large fraction of turnout variations. To perform our analysis, we use Myerson’s (1997, 2000) advances on Poisson Games and generalize the Riker and Ordeshook (1968) seminal model of instrumental voting. Applying our results to US data, we show how our model can explain several stylized facts, like the secular fall in turnout rates in the US.

Suggested Citation

  • Castanheira, Micael, 2002. "On the (Non) Paradox of (Not) Voting," CEPR Discussion Papers 3126, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3126
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Harbaugh, W T, 1996. "If People Vote Because They Like to, Then Why Do So Many of Them Lie?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 89(1-2), pages 63-76, October.
    2. repec:cup:apsrev:v:68:y:1974:i:02:p:525-536_11 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Anke Kessler, 2005. "Representative versus direct democracy: The role of informational asymmetries," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 122(1), pages 9-38, January.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    paradox of voting; Poisson gamex; rational voter hypothesis;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty

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