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Informatization, Voter Turnout and Income Inequality

  • Ryo Arawatari

    ()

    (Graduate School of Economics, Osaka University)

In recent years, voter turnout has been decreasing in most industrial countries, and about 40% of all electors abstain from voting. This may affect income inequality and the GDP growth rate through a redistribution policy determined by majority voting. In this paper, we explore the reasons for this continuing decrease in voter turnout and assess its social costs. We conclude that informatization lowers voter turnout by generating an information overload, and that a decrease in voter turnout lowers GDP growth by limiting income redistribution.

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File URL: http://www2.econ.osaka-u.ac.jp/library/global/dp/0728.pdf
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Paper provided by Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP) in its series Discussion Papers in Economics and Business with number 07-28.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:osk:wpaper:0728
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.econ.osaka-u.ac.jp/
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  1. Katsuya Takii & Ryuichi Tanaka, 2006. "Does the Diversity of Human Capital Increase GDP? A Comparison of Education Systems," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 06-19, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).
  2. Timothy J. Feddersen & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1995. "The Swing Voter's Curse," Discussion Papers 1064, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  3. Roland Benabou, 2000. "Unequal Societies: Income Distribution and the Social Contract," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 96-129, March.
  4. David Dreyer Lassen, 2004. "The Effect of Information on Voter Turnout: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," EPRU Working Paper Series 04-03, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  5. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
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  7. Rodrik, Dani & Alesina, Alberto, 1994. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," Scholarly Articles 4551798, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. 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.
  9. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1994. "Is Inequality Harmful for Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 600-621, June.
  10. Smith, James P, 1984. "Race and Human Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(4), pages 685-98, September.
  11. Lohmann, Susanne, 1994. "Information Aggregation through Costly Political Action," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 518-30, June.
  12. Ricardo Reis, 2004. "Inattentive Consumers," Working Papers 135, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Discussion Papers in Economics..
  13. Mauricio Olivera & Alberto E. Chong, 2005. "On Compulsory Voting and Income Inequality in a Cross-Section of Countries," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 6694, Inter-American Development Bank.
  14. Timothy J. Fedderson & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1996. "Abstention in Elections with Asymmetric Information and Diverse Preferences," Discussion Papers 1195, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  15. Matthew Gentzkow, 2006. "Television and Voter Turnout," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(3), pages 931-972, 08.
  16. Li, Hongyi & Zou, Heng-fu, 1998. "Income Inequality Is Not Harmful for Growth: Theory and Evidence," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 2(3), pages 318-34, October.
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