Diffusion and Geographical Equilibrium in Voter Turnout in the United States: 1920-2008

19 Pages Posted: 13 Jan 2012

See all articles by Stephen Coleman

Stephen Coleman

Metropolitan State University (retired)

Date Written: January 12, 2012

Abstract

Social conformity can spread social norms and behaviors through a society. This research examines such a process geographically for conformity with the norm that good citizens should vote, which in turn affects voter turnout. A mathematical model for this process is developed, and predictions are tested with qualitative and quantitative spatial analyses of state-level voter turnout in American presidential elections from 1920 to 2008. Results show that the diffusion of conformist behavior over time has led to a geographical equilibrium in state-level voter turnout, confirming the model.

Keywords: social conformity, social norms, diffusion, equilibrium, spatial analysis, voter turnout, mathematical model

JEL Classification: R10, D72, C51, C21, C22, C11

Suggested Citation

Coleman, Stephen, Diffusion and Geographical Equilibrium in Voter Turnout in the United States: 1920-2008 (January 12, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1984331 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1984331

Stephen Coleman (Contact Author)

Metropolitan State University (retired) ( email )

St. Paul, MN 55108
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.populardelusions.org

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