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Was treibt die Stimmbürger an die Urne? Eine empirische Untersuchung der Abstimmungsbeteiligung in der Schweiz, 1981 - 1999


  • Prof. Dr. Gebhard Kirchgässner


  • Dr. Tobias Schulz



First, theoretical considerations and selected empirical results of previous studies explaining participation in elections and referenda are presented. We consider the decision hypothesis, the mobilisation hypothesis, the expressive voting approach as well as two hypotheses which have been developed by political scientists. To test these hypotheses, we use data of Swiss referenda and initiatives from 1981 to 1999. The empirical results strongly support the mobi­lisation but not the decision hypothesis. That the expected financial consequences of a pro­posal have an impact on the turnout of optional referenda but not of initiatives is at least somewhat at odds with the expressive voting approach.

Suggested Citation

  • Prof. Dr. Gebhard Kirchgässner & Dr. Tobias Schulz, 2004. "Was treibt die Stimmbürger an die Urne? Eine empirische Untersuchung der Abstimmungsbeteiligung in der Schweiz, 1981 - 1999," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2004 2004-10, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
  • Handle: RePEc:usg:dp2004:2004-10

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    Expected Closeness; Expressive Voting; Campaign Expenditure; Turnout; Direct Democracy;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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