Social Identity and Voter Turnout
37 Pages Posted: 7 Jul 2008
Date Written: June 2008
This paper uses the unique social structure of Arab communities to examine the effect of social identity on voter turnout. We first show that voters are more likely to vote for a candidate who shares their social group (signified by last name) as compared to other candidates. Using last name as a measure of group affiliation, we find an inverted U-shaped relationship between group size and voter turnout which is consistent with theoretical models that reconcile the paradox of voting by incorporating groups behavior.
Keywords: voter turnout, paradox of voting, social identity, local elections
JEL Classification: H0, D70, D72
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