Voting When the Stakes are High

47 Pages Posted: 20 Sep 2010

See all articles by Jørgen Juel Andersen

Jørgen Juel Andersen

Norwegian School of Management (BI)

Jon H. Fiva

Norwegian School of Management (BI) - Department of Economics

Gisle James James Natvik

BI Norwegian Business School - Department of Economics

Date Written: September 20, 2010

Abstract

Rational choice theories of electoral participation stress that an individual's decision to vote depends on her expected net benefit from doing so. If this instrumental motive is relevant, then turnout should be higher in elections where more is at stake. We test this prediction, by studying how turnout is affected by exogenous variation in governments’ financial flexibility to provide pork for their voters. By utilizing simultaneous elections for different offices, we identify a positive effect of election stakes on turnout.

Keywords: voter motivation, elections, turnout

JEL Classification: D72, H71

Suggested Citation

Andersen, Jørgen Juel and Fiva, Jon H. and Natvik, Gisle James James, Voting When the Stakes are High (September 20, 2010). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 3167, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1679629

Jørgen Juel Andersen

Norwegian School of Management (BI) ( email )

P.O. Box 580
NO - 1302 Sandvika
Norway

Jon H. Fiva (Contact Author)

Norwegian School of Management (BI) - Department of Economics ( email )

Oslo
Norway

Gisle James James Natvik

BI Norwegian Business School - Department of Economics ( email )

Nydalsveien 37
Oslo, 0484
Norway

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