Habitual Voting and Behavioral Turnout
27 Pages Posted: 20 Aug 2007
Bendor, Diermeier, and Ting (2003) develop a behavioral alternative to rational choice models of turnout. However, the assumption they make about the way individuals adjust their probability of voting biases their model towards their main result of significant turnout in large populations. Moreover, the assumption causes individuals to engage in casual voting (sometimes people vote and sometimes they abstain). This result is at odds with a substantial literature that indicates most people engage in habitual voting (they either always vote or always abstain). I develop an alternative model to show how feedback in the probability adjustment mechanism affects the behavioral model. The version of this model without feedback yields both high turnout and habitual voting.
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