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Parents, Infants, and Voter Turnout

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  • Angela Cools

    (Department of Economics, Davidson College)

Abstract

Despite evidence that infants affect families' economic and social behaviors, little is known about how young children influence their parents' political engagement. I show that U.S. women with an infant during an election year are 3.5 percentage points less likely to vote than women without children; men with an infant are 2.3 percentage points less likely to vote. Suggesting that this effect may be causal, I find no significant decreases in turnout the year before parents have an infant. Using a triple-difference approach, I then show that vote-by-mail systems mitigate the negative association between infants and mothers' turnout.

Suggested Citation

  • Angela Cools, 2020. "Parents, Infants, and Voter Turnout," Working Papers 20-04, Davidson College, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:dav:wpaper:20-04
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    File URL: ftp://econrepec.davidson.edu/wpaper/civic_child_website.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    voter turnout; gender gap; life transitions;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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