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Non-partisan 'Get-out-the-vote' efforts and policy outcomes

  • Kovenock, Dan
  • Roberson, Brian

This paper utilizes a simple model of redistributive politics with voter abstention to analyze the impact of nonpartisan ‘get-out-the-vote’ efforts on policy outcomes. Although such efforts are often promoted on the grounds that they provide the social benefit of increasing participation in the electoral process, we find that they have a meaningful impact on policy outcomes and are an important political influence activity for nonprofit advocacy organizations. In equilibrium, nonpartisan gotv efforts are more likely to arise in those segments of the electorate that are sufficiently small and disenfranchised (as measured by the ex ante voter abstention rate). Among those segments in which such efforts arise, the resulting gains are increasing in the level of disenfranchisement of the voters in the segment and decreasing in the segment’s size.

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Paper provided by Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) in its series Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Processes and Governance with number SP II 2009-07.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbmpg:spii200907
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  1. Dan Kovenock & Brian Roberson, 2009. "Inefficient redistribution and inefficient redistributive politics," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 139(3), pages 263-272, June.
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  12. James M. Buchanan, 1954. "Individual Choice in Voting and the Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 62, pages 334.
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  18. Baye, M.R. & Kovenock, D. & De Vries, C.G., 1993. "The Solution to the Tullock Rent-Seeking Game when r>2: Mixed-Strategy Equilibria and Mean Dissipation Rates," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1039, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
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