Voter Turnout in European Parliament Elections: A Spatial Analysis

29 Pages Posted: 17 Jun 2016

See all articles by Nadia Fiorino

Nadia Fiorino

University of L'Aquila - Faculty of Economics

Nicola Pontarollo

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca

Roberto Ricciuti

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

Date Written: May 30, 2016

Abstract

In European Parliament elections turnout rates, traditionally lower than in national parliamentary elections, decrease from one elections to the next, and show strong variations within and between countries. What explains this decline? Why are there such big differences between and within the EU member countries? This paper investigates these problems by analyzing the last four EP elections in the EU-13, for 156 regions. We first study the spatial features of turnout and subsequently test a Hierarchical Linear Model to assess the impact of some socioeconomic, institutional and political factors on voter turnout. The results confirm the spatial dependence of data and indicate a significant role of compulsory voting, domestic political cleavages, and uncertainty on the labor market. No evidence is found that European financial transfers, GDP per capita or unemployment influence turnout. Finally, the oldest segment of population seems more prone to vote than the youngest part.

Keywords: European Parliament elections, voter turnout, subnational variation, Hierarchical Linear Model

Suggested Citation

Fiorino, Nadia and Pontarollo, Nicola and Ricciuti, Roberto, Voter Turnout in European Parliament Elections: A Spatial Analysis (May 30, 2016). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 5910. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2796529

Nadia Fiorino

University of L'Aquila - Faculty of Economics ( email )

Roio Poggio, 67040
Italy

Nicola Pontarollo

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca ( email )

Piazza dell'Ateneo Nuovo, 1
Milano, Milan 20126
Italy

Roberto Ricciuti (Contact Author)

University of Verona - Department of Economics ( email )

Via dell'Artigliere, 8
37129 Verona
Italy

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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