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Abstention because of Indifference and Alienation, and Its Consequences for Party Competition: A Simple Psychological Model

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  • Gebhard Kirchgässner

    ()

Abstract

The basic idea behind this paper is that voters have to be able to distinguish the positions of the parties. Following Weber’s Law this depends on the relative distance with respect to their own optimal position. Using such a measure a model of voter participation is developed which allows for abstention because of indifference as well as alienation. Two variants of this model are applied on a two parties contest: one where participation is proportional to the relative distance and another one where voters participate if this distance is above a certain convergence to the median voter’s position.

Suggested Citation

  • Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2003. "Abstention because of Indifference and Alienation, and Its Consequences for Party Competition: A Simple Psychological Model," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2003 2003-12, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
  • Handle: RePEc:usg:dp2003:2003-12
    as

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    File URL: http://ux-tauri.unisg.ch/RePEc/usg/dp2003/dp0312kirchgaessner_ganz.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Martin J. Osborne, 1995. "Spatial Models of Political Competition under Plurality Rule: A Survey of Some Explanations of the Number of Candidates and the Positions They Take," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 28(2), pages 261-301, May.
    2. Timothy Besley & Stephen Coate, 1997. "An Economic Model of Representative Democracy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 85-114.
    3. repec:cup:apsrev:v:62:y:1968:i:01:p:25-42_11 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Martin J. Osborne & Al Slivinski, 1996. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(1), pages 65-96.
    5. Kliemt, Hartmut, 1986. "The veil of insignificance," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 333-344.
    6. James M. Buchanan, 1954. "Individual Choice in Voting and the Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 62, pages 334-334.
    7. Alesina, Alberto, 1988. "Credibility and Policy Convergence in a Two-Party System with Rational Voters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 796-805, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Voting Behaviour; Abstention; Perception of Differences; Party Competition;

    JEL classification:

    • H19 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Other
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

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