Voting When the Stakes are High
43 Pages Posted: 13 Jul 2012 Last revised: 24 Jul 2012
Date Written: 2012
Most theories of electoral participation predict that 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 causal effect of election stakes on turnout. An implication is that local fiscal autonomy stimulates local political participation.
Keywords: Voter Motivation, Elections, Turnout
JEL Classification: D72, H71
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation