Elemental Tests of the Traditional Rational Voting Model

Posted: 8 May 2008 Last revised: 10 Jul 2009

Darren P. Grant

Sam Houston State University - College of Business Administration - Department of Economics and International Business

Michael Toma

Armstrong Atlantic State University

Abstract

A simple, robust, quasi-linear, structural general equilibrium rational voting model indicates turnout by voters motivated by the possibility of deciding the outcome is bell-curved in the ex-post winning margin and inversely proportional to electorate size. Applying this model to a large set of union certification elections, which often end in ties, yields exacting, lucid tests of the theory. Voter turnout is strongly related to election closeness, but not in the way predicted by the theory. Thus this relation is generated by some other mechanism, which is indeterminate, as no existing theory explains the nonlinear patterns of turnout in the data. A much earlier version was formerly circulated as "The Rationality of Voter Turnout in U.S. Union Certification Elections: 1994-2001."

Keywords: union certification elections, rational voter model, semiparametric regression

JEL Classification: D72, J59

Suggested Citation

Grant, Darren P. and Toma, Michael, Elemental Tests of the Traditional Rational Voting Model. Public Choice, pp. 173-195, October 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1129507

Darren P. Grant (Contact Author)

Sam Houston State University - College of Business Administration - Department of Economics and International Business ( email )

SHSU Box 2118
Huntsville, TX 77341-2118
United States
936-294-4324 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.shsu.edu/dpg006

Michael Toma

Armstrong Atlantic State University ( email )

11935 Abercorn Street
Savannah, GA 31419

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