Socio-Economic Heterogeneity and Electoral Turnout: An Aggregate Analysis with Precinct-Level Data

28 Pages Posted: 10 Oct 2014

See all articles by Giorgio Bellettini

Giorgio Bellettini

University of Bologna - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Carlotta Berti Ceroni

University of Bologna - Department of Economics

Chiara Monfardini

University of Bologna - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: September 30, 2014

Abstract

In this paper we perform an empirical analysis to investigate the impact of socio-economic heterogeneity on electoral turnout. We exploit a unique dataset on local elections in an Italian municipality, which merges information on socio-economic characteristics of about 370,000 individuals with turnout data at the precinct level in 2004 and 2009. Controlling for unobserved precinct-specific fixed effects, we find that electoral turnout is not affected by income inequality. We also document a negative effect on electoral participation of the share of immigrants, population density, and the share of singles. These results suggest that increased ethnic heterogeneity and reduced social pressure tend to depress turnout.

Keywords: income inequality, electoral turnout, heterogeneity

JEL Classification: D720

Suggested Citation

Bellettini, Giorgio and Berti Ceroni, Carlotta and Monfardini, Chiara, Socio-Economic Heterogeneity and Electoral Turnout: An Aggregate Analysis with Precinct-Level Data (September 30, 2014). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 4999, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2507772

Giorgio Bellettini (Contact Author)

University of Bologna - Department of Economics ( email )

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CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) ( email )

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Carlotta Berti Ceroni

University of Bologna - Department of Economics ( email )

Piazza Scaravilli 2
I-40126 Bologna
Italy
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+39 051 2098040 (Fax)

Chiara Monfardini

University of Bologna - Department of Economics ( email )

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Bologna, 40126
Italy
0039 51 2098148 (Phone)
0039 51 221968 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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