Habit-Formation and Political Behaviour: Evidence of Consuetude in Voter Turnout
21 Pages Posted: 9 Nov 2003
The extensive literature on voter turnout has devoted relatively little attention to the hypothesis that casting a ballot in one election increases one's propensity to go to the polls in the future. This hypothesis is supported by voter turnout patterns in the 1972-4-6 and 1992-4-6 American National Election Studies panel surveys as well as published experimental research. The effects of past voter turnout on current voting propensities are sizeable and robust across a wide range of model specifications, including those that take into account the possibility of stable unobserved factors affecting both past and current turnout. We conclude by discussing the implications of consuetude for political and social behavior.
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