Rain, Elections and Money: The Impact of Voter Turnout on Distributive Policy Outcomes in Japan

Asia Pacific Economic Paper, No. 379, 2009

23 Pages Posted: 26 May 2012

See all articles by Yusaku Horiuchi

Yusaku Horiuchi

Dartmouth College - Department of Government

Jun Saito

Yale University

Date Written: May 25, 2012

Abstract

Does voter turnout affect policy outcomes? This long-standing question has been re-visited recently with close empirical scrutiny. These studies, however, commonly suffer from a problem of omitting variables correlated with both causal and outcome variables; specifically, immeasurable political interactions between politicians, organised groups, and individual voters. We address this problem by exploiting an instrument based on new data measuring the amount of rainfall on the voting day. It is a valid instrument not only because it is correlated with voter turnout and uncorrelated with politically relevant omitted variables, but also because it is expected to satisfy the assumption of ‘homogeneous partial effects,’ which has not been carefully examined in previous studies that took advantage of instrumental variables. Using a large, municipality-level data set from Japan, we show that the turnout effect on the amounts of intergovernmental fiscal transfers is indeed significant, positive, and large.

Keywords: voter turnout, intergovernmental fiscal transfers, rain, Japan, instrumental variable

JEL Classification: D72, E62

Suggested Citation

Horiuchi, Yusaku and Saito, Jun, Rain, Elections and Money: The Impact of Voter Turnout on Distributive Policy Outcomes in Japan (May 25, 2012). Asia Pacific Economic Paper, No. 379, 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1906951 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1906951

Yusaku Horiuchi (Contact Author)

Dartmouth College - Department of Government ( email )

204 Silsby Hall
HB 6108
Hanover, NH 03755
United States

HOME PAGE: http://sites.dartmouth.edu/horiuchi/

Jun Saito

Yale University ( email )

New Haven, CT 06520
United States

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