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Time to Vote?

Author

Listed:
  • Gibson, John

    () (University of Waikato)

  • Kim, Bonggeun

    (Seoul National University)

  • Stillman, Steven

    () (Free University of Bozen/Bolzano)

  • Boe-Gibson, Geua

    (University of Waikato)

Abstract

Despite the centrality of voting costs to the paradox of voting, little effort has been made to accurately measure these costs outside of a few spatially limited case studies. In this paper, we apply Geographic Information Systems (GIS) tools to validated national election survey data from New Zealand. We calculate distance and travel time by road from the place of residence to the nearest polling place and combine our time estimate with imputed wages for all sample members. Using this new measure of the opportunity cost of voting to predict turnout at the individual level, we find that small increases in the opportunity costs of time can have large effects in reducing voter turnout.

Suggested Citation

  • Gibson, John & Kim, Bonggeun & Stillman, Steven & Boe-Gibson, Geua, 2011. "Time to Vote?," IZA Discussion Papers 5854, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5854
    as

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    File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp5854.pdf
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    Other versions of this item:

    • John Gibson & Bonggeun Kim & Steven Stillman & Geua Boe-Gibson, 2013. "Time to vote?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 156(3), pages 517-536, September.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. M. H. Pesaran, 1974. "On the General Problem of Model Selection," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(2), pages 153-171.
    2. Vowles, Jack, 2010. "Electoral System Change, Generations, Competitiveness and Turnout in New Zealand, 1963–2005," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 40(04), pages 875-895, October.
    3. Kwangsuck Lee & In-Moo Kim, 2005. "Estimating the value of leisure time in Korea," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(10), pages 639-641.
    4. Matsusaka, John G & Palda, Filip, 1999. "Voter Turnout: How Much Can We Explain?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 98(3-4), pages 431-446, March.
    5. Richard Niemi, 1976. "Costs of voting and nonvoting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 115-119, September.
    6. Bruno Frey, 1971. "Why do high income people participate more in politics?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 101-105, September.
    7. repec:cup:apsrev:v:62:y:1968:i:01:p:25-42_11 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. repec:cup:apsrev:v:105:y:2011:i:01:p:115-134_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. McNulty, John E. & Dowling, Conor M. & Ariotti, Margaret H., 2009. "Driving Saints to Sin: How Increasing the Difficulty of Voting Dissuades Even the Most Motivated Voters," Political Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 17(04), pages 435-455, September.
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    11. Hausman, J. A. & Abrevaya, Jason & Scott-Morton, F. M., 1998. "Misclassification of the dependent variable in a discrete-response setting," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 239-269, September.
    12. Pesaran, M H, 1982. "Comparison of Local Power of Alternative Tests of Non-Nested Regression Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1287-1305, September.
    13. R. Tollison & T. Willett, 1973. "Some simple economics of voting and not voting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 59-71, September.
    14. Joshua J. Dyck & James G. Gimpel, 2005. "Distance, Turnout, and the Convenience of Voting," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 86(3), pages 531-548.
    15. 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.
    16. Richard Cebula & Michael Toma, 2006. "Determinants of Geographic Differentials in the Voter Participation Rate," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 34(1), pages 33-40, March.
    17. Adam Ozimek & Daniel Miles, 2011. "Stata utilities for geocoding and generating travel time and travel distance information," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 11(1), pages 106-119, March.
    18. Skinner, Jonathan, 1987. "A superior measure of consumption from the panel study of income dynamics," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 213-216.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Roland Hodler & Simon Luechinger & Alois Stutzer, 2015. "The Effects of Voting Costs on the Democratic Process and Public Finances," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 7(1), pages 141-171, February.
    2. Tim Powlowski & Dennis Coates, 2013. "The habit for voting, “civic duty” and travel distance," UMBC Economics Department Working Papers 13-05, UMBC Department of Economics.
    3. repec:eee:soceps:v:59:y:2017:i:c:p:1-12 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    opportunity cost; paradox of voting; travel time;

    JEL classification:

    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
    • R4 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics

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