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A psychologically-based model of voter turnout

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  • Li, Ming
  • Majumdar, Dipjyoti

Abstract

We analyze a psychologically-based model of voter turnout. Potential voters experience regret if they fail to vote, which is the motivation for participation in voting. Regret from abstention is inversely related to the margin of victory. Voters on the winner's side experience less regret than those on the loser's side. We show that the unique equilibrium involves positive voter turnout. We show that the losing side has higher turnout. In addition, voter turnout is positively related to importance of the election and the competitiveness of the election. We also consider scenarios in which voters are uncertain about the composition of the electorate's political preferences and show similar phenomena emerge.

Suggested Citation

  • Li, Ming & Majumdar, Dipjyoti, 2006. "A psychologically-based model of voter turnout," MPRA Paper 10719, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Jun 2008.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:10719
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    Cited by:

    1. Degan, Arianna & Li, Ming, 2015. "Psychologically-based voting with uncertainty," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 40(PB), pages 242-259.
    2. Elena Panova, 2011. "A Passion for Democracy," CIRANO Working Papers 2011s-47, CIRANO.
    3. Jan Schnellenbach & Christian Schubert, 2014. "Behavioral Political Economy: A Survey," CESifo Working Paper Series 4988, CESifo.
    4. Conrad, Peter & Bergey, Meredith R., 2014. "The impending globalization of ADHD: Notes on the expansion and growth of a medicalized disorder," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 122(C), pages 31-43.
    5. Schnellenbach, Jan & Schubert, Christian, 2014. "Behavioral public choice: A survey," Freiburg Discussion Papers on Constitutional Economics 14/03, Walter Eucken Institut e.V..
    6. Schnellenbach, Jan & Schubert, Christian, 2015. "Behavioral political economy: A survey," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 40(PB), pages 395-417.
    7. Drew Fudenberg & David K Levine, 2016. "Whither Game Theory?," Levine's Working Paper Archive 786969000000001307, David K. Levine.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    voter turnout; regret; economics and psychology;

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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