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Voter Turnout and the Size of Government

Listed author(s):
  • Aggeborn, Linuz

    ()

    (Uppsala Center for Fiscal Studies)

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    This paper investigates the causal link between voter turnout and policy outcomes related to the size of government. Tax rate and public expenditures are the focal policy outcomes in this study. To capture the causal mechanism, Swedish and Finnish municipal data are used and a constitutional change in Sweden in 1970 is applied as an instrument for voter turnout in local elections. In 1970, Sweden moved from having separate election days for different levels of government,among other things, to a system with a single election day for political elections, thus reducing the cost associated with voting. This constitutional reform increased voter turnout in local elections in Sweden. The overall conclusion of this paper is that higher voter turnout yields higher municipal taxes and larger local public expenditures. Second,there is some evidence that higher turnout decreases the vote share for right-wing parties.

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    File URL: http://ucfs.nek.uu.se/digitalAssets/200/200703_201314.pdf
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    Paper provided by Uppsala University, Department of Economics in its series Working Paper Series, Center for Fiscal Studies with number 2013:14.

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    Length: 48 pages
    Date of creation: 04 Nov 2013
    Handle: RePEc:hhs:uufswp:2013_014
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    Department of Economics, Uppsala University, P. O. Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden

    Phone: + 46 18 471 25 00
    Fax: + 46 18 471 14 78
    Web page: http://www.nek.uu.se/
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    1. Fumagalli, Eileen & Narciso, Gaia, 2012. "Political institutions, voter turnout, and policy outcomes," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 162-173.
    2. Duggan, John & Fey, Mark, 2005. "Electoral competition with policy-motivated candidates," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 490-522, May.
    3. Henrik Jordahl & Che-Yuan Liang, 2010. "Merged municipalities, higher debt: on free-riding and the common pool problem in politics," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 143(1), pages 157-172, April.
    4. Martin J. Osborne & Al Slivinski, 1996. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(1), pages 65-96.
    5. Timothy Besley & Stephen Coate, 1997. "An Economic Model of Representative Democracy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 85-114.
    6. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2000. "Why Did the West Extend the Franchise? Democracy, Inequality, and Growth in Historical Perspective," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1167-1199.
    7. Husted, Thomas A & Kenny, Lawrence W, 1997. "The Effect of the Expansion of the Voting Franchise on the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(1), pages 54-82, February.
    8. John E. Roemer, 1997. "Political-economic equilibrium when parties represent constituents: The unidimensional case," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 14(4), pages 479-502.
    9. Knack, Stephen & James, White, 2000. "Election-day registration and turnout inequality," MPRA Paper 27244, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2002. "Political Economics: Explaining Economic Policy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262661314, January.
    11. Meltzer, Allan H & Richard, Scott F, 1981. "A Rational Theory of the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 914-927, October.
    12. repec:cup:apsrev:v:62:y:1968:i:01:p:25-42_11 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Fowler, Anthony, 2013. "Electoral and Policy Consequences of Voter Turnout: Evidence from Compulsory Voting in Australia," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 8(2), pages 159-182, February.
    14. Moulton, Brent R., 1986. "Random group effects and the precision of regression estimates," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 385-397, August.
    15. Mueller,Dennis C., 2003. "Public Choice III," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521894753, March.
    16. repec:cup:apsrev:v:67:y:1973:i:02:p:490-498_14 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Tyrefors Hinnerich, Björn, 2009. "Do merging local governments free ride on their counterparts when facing boundary reform?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(5-6), pages 721-728, June.
    18. Per Pettersson-Lidbom, 2008. "Do Parties Matter for Economic Outcomes? A Regression-Discontinuity Approach," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(5), pages 1037-1056, 09.
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