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Participation and voting behavior in a direct democracy: a structural model of migration policy in Switzerland

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  • Jaya Krishnakumar
  • Tobias Muller

Abstract

In this paper, we analyze the political economy of immigration policy in a direct democracy setting. We formulate a structural model of voting and participation behavior integrating instrumental and expressive motivations. The model is estimated using data drawn from a survey carried out after a vote in Switzerland in 2000 on a popular initiative proposing to implement immigration restrictions. The model enables us to recover estimates of participation costs and preferences towards immigration and analyze how these preferences are translated into actual political outcomes. The results reveal a substantial gap ("participation bias") between attitudes towards immigration in the general population and the outcome of the vote.

Suggested Citation

  • Jaya Krishnakumar & Tobias Muller, 2007. "Participation and voting behavior in a direct democracy: a structural model of migration policy in Switzerland," Research Papers by the Institute of Economics and Econometrics, Geneva School of Economics and Management, University of Geneva 2007.01, Institut d'Economie et Econométrie, Université de Genève.
  • Handle: RePEc:gen:geneem:2007.01
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    Cited by:

    1. Giovanni Facchini & Anna Maria Mayda, 2008. "From individual attitudes towards migrants to migration policy outcomes: Theory and evidence," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 23, pages 651-713, October.
    2. Miguet, Florence, 2008. "Voting about immigration policy: What does the Swiss experience tell us?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 628-641, September.
    3. de Melo, Jaime & Miguet, Florence & Müller, Tobias, 2002. "The Political Economy of EU Enlargement: Lessons from Switzerland," CEPR Discussion Papers 3449, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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