Community Size, Heterogeneity and Voter Turnouts
Numerous studies have found a negative relationship between the closeness of an election, the size of the electorate and voter turnout. It is often claimed that this relationship supports the rational voter hypothesis, with closeness and size proxying for the decisiveness of a vote. We offer a different interpretation. Larger communities are more heterogeneous than smaller ones, and turnouts are inversely related to the heterogeneity of a community. We present empirical support for this hypothesis using data for voter turnouts in Norwegian school language referendums. Community size is found to have a negative effect on voter turnouts, even after accounting for the probability of a single vote being decisive and the linguistic dimension of this heterogeneity. Our findings question the adequacy of the turnout regression in testing the rational voter hypothesis, as neither a positive correlation between closeness and turnout, nor a negative correlation between size and turnout can be exclusively attributed to instrumental voting.
|Date of creation:|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Arsenal Object 20, A-1030 Wien|
Phone: (+43 1) 798 26 01-0
Fax: (+43 1) 798 93 86
Web page: http://www.wifo.ac.at/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Lindert, Peter H., 1996. "What Limits Social Spending?," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 1-34, January.
- Mutsusaka, J.G. & Palda, F., 1991.
"The Downsian Voter Meets the Ecological Fallacy,"
91-30, Southern California - School of Business Administration.
- La Ferrara, Eliana & Alesina, Alberto, 2000. "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," Scholarly Articles 4551796, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Erzo F.P. Luttmer, 1999.
"Group Loyalty and the Taste for Redistribution,"
JCPR Working Papers
61, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
- James M. Poterba, 1997.
"Demographic structure and the political economy of public education,"
Journal of Policy Analysis and Management,
John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(1), pages 48-66.
- James M. Poterba, 1996. "Demographic Structure and the Political Economy of Public Education," NBER Working Papers 5677, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Koenker,Roger, 2005.
Cambridge University Press, number 9780521845731, November.
- Oberholzer-Gee, Felix & Waldfogel, Joel, 2005. "Strength in Numbers: Group Size and Political Mobilization," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 48(1), pages 73-91, April.
- Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1997.
"Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions,"
NBER Working Papers
6009, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Baqir, Reza & Easterly, William & Alesina, Alberto, 1999. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," Scholarly Articles 4551797, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Alesina, Alberto & Baqir, Reza & Easterly, William, 1999. "Public goods and ethnic divisions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2108, The World Bank.
- Kafoglis, Milton & Cebula, Richard, 1980.
"The Buchanan-Tullock Model: Some Extensions,"
51216, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Koenker, Roger W & Bassett, Gilbert, Jr, 1978. "Regression Quantiles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 33-50, January.
- La Ferrara, Eliana, 2002.
"Inequality and group participation: theory and evidence from rural Tanzania,"
Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 235-273, August.
- La Ferrara, Eliana, 2000. "Inequality And Group Participation: Theory And Evidence From Rural Tanzania," CEPR Discussion Papers 2433, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Eliana La Ferrara, 2000. "Inequality and Group Participation: Theory and Evidence from Rural Tanzania," Development Working Papers 138, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano.
- Eliana La Ferrara, . "Inequality and Group Participation: Theory and Evidence from Rural Tanzania," Working Papers 161, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
- Matsusaka, John G & Palda, Filip, 1999. "Voter Turnout: How Much Can We Explain?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 98(3-4), pages 431-46, March.
- Dora L. Costa & Matthew E. Kahn, 2001.
"Cowards and Heroes: Group Loyalty in the American Civil War,"
NBER Working Papers
8627, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Dora L. Costa & Matthew E. Kahn, 2003. "Cowards and Heroes: Group Loyalty in the American Civil War," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(2), pages 519-548.
- Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2000. "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 847-904.
- Guillermo Owen & Bernard Grofman, 1984. "To vote or not to vote: The paradox of nonvoting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 42(3), pages 311-325, January.
- Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 1999.
"Participation in Heterogeneous Communities,"
NBER Working Papers
7155, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Miguel, Edward & Gugerty, Mary Kay, 2005. "Ethnic diversity, social sanctions, and public goods in Kenya," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(11-12), pages 2325-2368, December.
- Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1999. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1243-1284.
- Barry Nalebuff & Roni Shachar, 1997.
"Follow The Leader: Theory And Evidence On Political Participation,"
Yale School of Management Working Papers
ysm57, Yale School of Management.
- Barry Nalebuff & Ron Shachar, 1999. "Follow the Leader: Theory and Evidence on Political Participation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 525-547, June.
- Kirchgassner, Gebhard & Schimmelpfenning, Jorg, 1992. "Closeness Counts If It Matters for Electoral Victory: Some Empirical Results for the United Kingdom and the Federal Republic of Germany," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 73(3), pages 283-99, April.
- Mueller,Dennis C., 2003. "Public Choice III," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521894753, November.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wfo:wpaper:y:2005:i:248. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ilse Schulz)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.