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Does voter turnout affect the votes for the incumbent government?

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Abstract

This paper analyzes the effects of voter turnout on the vote shares received by the incumbent government. A system of simultaneous equations is estimated using a panel dataset of 278 Portuguese municipalities, for the period 1979-2005, covering 10 legislative elections. The results indicate that right-wing governments have lower vote shares when turnout is higher, while left-wing ones seem to be unaffected. There is also evidence of the responsibility hypothesis, that turnout is higher in closer elections, and that regional/local economic variables have non-linear effects on turnout.

Suggested Citation

  • Rodrigo Martins & Francisco José Veiga, 2013. "Does voter turnout affect the votes for the incumbent government?," NIPE Working Papers 15/2013, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
  • Handle: RePEc:nip:nipewp:15/2013
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    References listed on IDEAS

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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. Mueller, Dennis C. & Stratmann, Thomas, 2003. "The economic effects of democratic participation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(9-10), pages 2129-2155, September.
    3. Rodrigo Martins & Francisco Veiga, 2013. "Economic performance and turnout at national and local elections," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 157(3), pages 429-448, December.
    4. Nannestad, Peter & Paldam, Martin, 1994. "The VP-Function: A Survey of the Literature on Vote and Popularity Functions after 25 Years," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 79(3-4), pages 213-245, June.
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    7. John Morgan & Felix Várdy, 2012. "Mixed Motives and the Optimal Size of Voting Bodies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 120(5), pages 986-1026.
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    9. Grofman, Bernard & Owen, Guillermo & Collet, Christian, 1999. "Rethinking the Partisan Effects of Higher Turnout: So What's the Question?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 99(3-4), pages 357-376, June.
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    11. Pacek, Alexander & Radcliff, Benjamin, 1995. "Turnout and the Vote for Left-of-Centre Parties: A Cross-National Analysis," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 25(01), pages 137-143, January.
    12. Blais, Andre & Young, Robert, 1999. "Why Do People Vote? An Experiment in Rationality," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 99(1-2), pages 39-55, April.
    13. Francisco Jose Veiga & Linda Goncalves Veiga, 2010. "The impact of local and national economic conditions on legislative election results," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(13), pages 1727-1734.
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    16. Hortala-Vallve, Rafael & Esteve-Volart, Berta, 2011. "Voter turnout and electoral competition in a multidimensional policy space," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 376-384, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Rohit Ticku, 2015. "Riot Rewards? Study of BJP's Electoral Performance and Hindu Muslim Riots," IHEID Working Papers HEIDWP19-2015, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies.
    2. Freier, Ronny, 2015. "The mayor's advantage: Causal evidence on incumbency effects in German mayoral elections," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 40(PA), pages 16-30.
    3. Alfredo Marvão Pereira & Rui Marvão Pereira & João Pereira dos Santos, 2017. "For Whom the Bell Tolls: Road Safety Effects of Tolls on Uncongested SCUT Highways in Portugal," GEE Papers 0074, Gabinete de Estratégia e Estudos, Ministério da Economia, revised Jul 2017.
    4. Al-Ississ, Mohamad & Atallah, Samer, 2015. "Patronage and ideology in electoral behavior: Evidence from Egypt's first presidential elections," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 241-248.
    5. Fowler, Anthony & Hall, Andrew B., 2015. "Congressional seniority and pork: A pig fat myth?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 40(PA), pages 42-56.
    6. Aggeborn, Linuz, 2016. "Voter turnout and the size of government," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 29-40.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Vote shares; Turnout; Legislative Elections; Portugal;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H7 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations

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