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Decentralization, local government elections and voter turnout in Pakistan:

Author

Listed:
  • Akramov, Kamiljon T.
  • Qureshi, Sarfraz
  • Birner, Regina
  • Khan, Bilal Hasan

Abstract

"Decentralization has the potential to improve the accountability of government and lead to a more efficient provision of public services. However, accountability requires broad groups of people to participate in local government. Thus, voter turnout at local government elections is an important component of government accountability. This study used survey data on the 2005 local government elections in Pakistan to analyze the impact of electoral mechanisms, the credibility of elections, and voters' socioeconomic characteristics on voter turnout. The rational-choice perspective is applied to develop the specifications of the empirical model. The empirical analysis is based on a series of standard and multilevel random-intercept logistic models. Our important findings reveal that (1) voter turnout is strongly associated with the personal and social gratifications people derive from voting; (2) the preference-matching ability of candidates for local government positions is marginal; and (3) the introduction of direct elections of the district nazims—a key position in local government—might improve electoral participation and thus create a precondition for better local government accountability. The findings also suggest that less educated people, farmers, and rural people are more likely to vote." Authors' Abstract

Suggested Citation

  • Akramov, Kamiljon T. & Qureshi, Sarfraz & Birner, Regina & Khan, Bilal Hasan, 2008. "Decentralization, local government elections and voter turnout in Pakistan:," IFPRI discussion papers 754, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:754
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hindriks, Jean & Lockwood, Ben, 2009. "Decentralization and electoral accountability: Incentives, separation and voter welfare," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 385-397, September.
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    7. Pranab Bardhan & Dilip Mookherjee (ed.), 2006. "Decentralization and Local Governance in Developing Countries: A Comparative Perspective," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262524546, January.
    8. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Clémence VERGNE, 2009. "Turnout in Developing Countries: The Effect of Mass Media on National Voter Participation," Working Papers 200929, CERDI.
    2. Bob Searle, 2011. "Decentralization in the Post-Conflict African Environment: Sierra Leone and Southern Sudan," Chapters,in: Decentralization in Developing Countries, chapter 3 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Usman Mustafa, 2011. "Fiscal Federalism in Pakistan: The 7th National Finance Commission Awardand Its Implications," PIDE-Working Papers 2011:73, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics.
    4. Regina Birner & Sarfraz Khan Qureshi & Kamiljon Akramov & Bilal Hassan Khan, 2006. "Voice and Votes—Does Political Decentralisation Work for the Poor and for Women? Empirical Evidence from the 2005 Local Government Elections in Pakistan," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 45(4), pages 1345-1360.

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    Keywords

    Decentralization; local government elections; political participation; voter turnout; Public service provision; Governance;

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