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Rain, Elections and Money: The Impact of Voter Turnout on Distributive Policy Outcomes in Japan

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  • Yusaku Horichi
  • Jun Saito

Abstract

Does voter turnout affect policy outcomes? This long-standing question has been re-visited recently with close empirical scrutiny. These studies, however, commonly suffer from a problem of omitting variables correlated with both causal and outcome variables: specifically, immeasurable political interactions between politicians, organised groups, and individual voters. We address this problem by exploiting an instrument based on new data measuring the amount of rainfall on the voting day. It is a valid instrument not only because it is correlated with voter turnout and uncorrelated with politically relevant omitted variables, but also because it is expected to satisfy the assumption of ‘homogeneous partial effects,’ which has not been carefully examined in previous studies that took advantage of instrumental variables. Using a large, mu­nicipality-level data set from Japan, we show that the turnout effect on the amounts of intergovernmental fiscal transfers is indeed significant, positive, and large.

Suggested Citation

  • Yusaku Horichi & Jun Saito, 2009. "Rain, Elections and Money: The Impact of Voter Turnout on Distributive Policy Outcomes in Japan," Asia Pacific Economic Papers 379, Australia-Japan Research Centre, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  • Handle: RePEc:csg:ajrcau:379
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    File URL: https://crawford.anu.edu.au/pdf/pep/apep-379.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Philippa Dee, 2006. "Multinational Corporations and Pacific Regionalism," Asia Pacific Economic Papers 358, Australia-Japan Research Centre, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    2. Dino Falaschetti, 2003. "Can Latent Groups Influence Policy Decisions? The Case of Telecommunications Policy," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 83-105, April.
    3. Dino Falaschetti, 2003. "Can latent groups influence policy decisions? The case of telecommunications policy," Public Economics 0311002, EconWPA.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bonnier, Evelina & Poulsen, Jonas & Rogall, Thorsten & Stryjan, Miri, 2015. "Preparing for Genocide: Community Work in Rwanda," Working Paper Series 2015:1, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    2. Jo Thori Lind, 2014. "Rainy Day Politics - An Instrumental Variables Approach to the Effect of Parties on Political Outcomes," CESifo Working Paper Series 4911, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Bonnier, Evelina & Poulsen, Jonas & Rogall, Thorsten & Stryjan, Miri, 2015. "Preparing for Genocide: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from Rwanda," SITE Working Paper Series 31, Stockholm School of Economics, Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics, revised 10 Nov 2016.
    4. Aggeborn, Linuz, 2016. "Voter turnout and the size of government," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 29-40.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Z19 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Other

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