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Voter Turnout and Fiscal Policy

  • Raphael Godefroy

    (Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques)

  • Emeric Henry

    (Département d'économie)

Though a large literature on the determinants of turnout has ourished, there is scant evidence on the causal impact of turnout on policies implemented in practice. Using data on French municipalities and instrumental variables for turnout based on temperature and inuenza variations, we show that a one percent increase in turnout decreases on average the municipalities' yearly budget by 1.5 percent. This is mostly due to a decrease in spending on equipment or personnel. We show that this could be the result of a negative effect of turnout on the strength of the incumbent's majority combined with the fact that the incumbent promises higher budgets. We argue, in the context of a theoretical model, that these different facts could be natural consequences of the well documented incumbency advantage.

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Date of creation: Nov 2011
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Handle: RePEc:spo:wpmain:info:hdl:2441/eu4vqp9ompqllr09iats1f0hh
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  1. Enikolopov, Ruben & Petrova, Maria & Zhuravskaya, Ekaterina, 2009. "Media and Political Persuasion: Evidence from Russia," CEPR Discussion Papers 7257, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Fernando Ferreira & Joseph Gyourko, 2007. "Do Political Parties Matter? Evidence from U.S. Cities," NBER Working Papers 13535, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Husted, Thomas A & Kenny, Lawrence W, 1997. "The Effect of the Expansion of the Voting Franchise on the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(1), pages 54-82, February.
  4. Björn Tyrefors Hinnerich & Per Pettersson‐Lidbom, 2014. "Democracy, Redistribution, and Political Participation: Evidence From Sweden 1919–1938," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 82(3), pages 961-993, 05.
  5. Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse M. Shapiro & Michael Sinkinson, 2011. "The Effect of Newspaper Entry and Exit on Electoral Politics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 2980-3018, December.
  6. Knack, Steve, 1994. "Does Rain Help the Republicans? Theory and Evidence on Turnout and the Vote," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 79(1-2), pages 187-209, April.
  7. Ruben Enikolopov & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2004. "Decentralization and Political Institutions," Economics Working Papers 0045, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
  8. Lee, David S., 2008. "Randomized experiments from non-random selection in U.S. House elections," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 675-697, February.
  9. Ebonya Washington, 2006. "How Black Candidates Affect Voter Turnout," NBER Working Papers 11915, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. 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.
  11. Matthew Gentzkow, 2006. "Television and Voter Turnout," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(3), pages 931-972.
  12. David Card & Enrico Moretti, 2007. "Does Voting Technology Affect Election Outcomes? Touch-screen Voting and the 2004 Presidential Election," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(4), pages 660-673, November.
  13. Matsusaka, John G & Palda, Filip, 1999. "Voter Turnout: How Much Can We Explain?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 98(3-4), pages 431-46, March.
  14. Krasa, Stefan & Polborn, Mattias K., 2009. "Is mandatory voting better than voluntary voting?," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 275-291, May.
  15. Washington, Ebonya, 2006. "How Black Candidates Affect Voter Turnout," Working Papers 16, Yale University, Department of Economics.
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