A Banana Republic? Trust in Electoral Institutions in Western Democracies - Evidence from a Presidential Election in Austria

36 Pages Posted: 1 Feb 2017

See all articles by Niklas Potrafke

Niklas Potrafke

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

Felix Roesel

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Date Written: December 19, 2016

Abstract

We examine the extent to which political scandals influence trust in electoral institutions in established Western democracies. The second ballot of the 2016 Presidential election in Austria needed to be repeated because of inconsistencies in individual electoral districts (scandal districts). In particular, postal votes were counted carelessly. We use a difference-indifferences approach comparing the regular and the repeated round of the second ballot, and examine whether voter turnout, postal voting, invalid voting and the vote shares of the candidates changed in scandal districts. Postal voting declined, but the results do not show that districts with inconsistencies differ regarding voter turnout, postal voting, invalid voting, and vote shares of the candidates. Voters’ trust in electoral institutions does not seem to depend on individual failing local administrations.

Keywords: presidential elections, political scandals, trust, voter turnout, candidate vote share, natural experiment

JEL Classification: D720, D020, Z180, P160

Suggested Citation

Potrafke, Niklas and Roesel, Felix, A Banana Republic? Trust in Electoral Institutions in Western Democracies - Evidence from a Presidential Election in Austria (December 19, 2016). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 6254. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2908000

Niklas Potrafke (Contact Author)

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

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, 01069
Germany

Felix Roesel

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

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
28
Abstract Views
216
PlumX Metrics