Does Low Registration Increase Class Bias in Voting? Evidence from the Fifty States

39 Pages Posted: 1 Apr 2004

See all articles by Dan Devroye

Dan Devroye

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: April 2001

Abstract

The poor vote less than the rich; in any model estimating the determinants of political participation (voter registration or turnout), income has a positive effect on participation. The greater this effect, the greater the income bias in the electorate. Using data from the NES 1948-98, I show that in states where registration levels are low, the income bias is greater. A similar result holds for the education bias. Recent evidence from the CPS provides some confirmation of these findings, using registration laws to instrument for state registration levels. The CPS evidence suggests, however, that it is easier to reduce the bias in voter registration than in voter turnout.

Keywords: elections, voter turnout, voter registration, political participation, income inequality

JEL Classification: D72

Suggested Citation

Devroye, Dan, Does Low Registration Increase Class Bias in Voting? Evidence from the Fifty States (April 2001). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=523022 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.523022

Dan Devroye (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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