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Electoral Participation and Communicative Voting in Europe


  • Sobbrio, Francesco
  • Navarra, Pietro


This paper provides an empirical investigation of electoral participation and communicative voting in 14 European countries. We estimate a multi-level voting process where individuals face a participation decision (whether to vote or abstain) and a voting decision (whether to vote strategically for a likely winner party or as communicating for a sure loser party). Our main findings can be summarized as follows. First, individuals who are either independent or uninformed are less likely to turnout. However, being both independent and uninformed does not have any statistically significant effect on electoral participation. Thus, our results question the empirical relevance of the swing voter's curse theory in large elections. Second, the probability of voting as communicating is positively related with the level of education and the degree of dissatisfaction with the political system. Finally, political preferences and institutional features characterizing the functioning of the political system and of the media market have a significant effect both on electoral participation and on the voting decision.

Suggested Citation

  • Sobbrio, Francesco & Navarra, Pietro, 2009. "Electoral Participation and Communicative Voting in Europe," MPRA Paper 18311, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:18311

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:aea:aejmic:v:9:y:2017:i:4:p:108-40 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Begovic, Boris & Paunovic, Marko, 2011. "Political support for enterprise restructuring and voting in Serbia," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 171-180, March.
    3. Jennings, Colin, 2011. "The good, the bad and the populist: A model of political agency with emotional voters," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 611-624.
    4. Elena Costas-Pérez, 2014. "Political corruption and voter turnout: mobilization or disaffection?," Working Papers 2014/27, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    5. Chyi-Lu Jang & Chun-Ping Chang, 2016. "Vote Buying and Victory of Election: The Case of Taiwan," Prague Economic Papers, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2016(5), pages 591-606.
    6. Libman Alexander & Schultz André & Graeber Thomas, 2016. "Tax Return as a Political Statement," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 12(2), pages 377-445, July.
    7. Herrera, Helios & Llorente-Saguer, Aniol & McMurray, Joseph C., 2016. "The Marginal Voter's Curse," CEPR Discussion Papers 11463, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Garmann, Sebastian, 2017. "Election frequency, choice fatigue, and voter turnout," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 19-35.
    9. Francesco Sobbrio, 2014. "The political economy of news media: theory, evidence and open issues," Chapters,in: A Handbook of Alternative Theories of Public Economics, chapter 13, pages 278-320 Edward Elgar Publishing.

    More about this item


    Electoral turnout; Swing Voter's Curse; Communicative voting; Strategic voting; Multi-level qualitative choices;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions; Probabilities

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