What Drives the Being Correct Citizens to the Urn? An Empirical Investigation of the Tuning Participation in Switzerland (Was Treibt Die Stimmburger an Die Urne? Eine Empirische Untersuchung Der Abstimmungsbeteiligung in Der Schweiz, 1981-1999)
University of St. Gallen Economics Discussion Paper No. 2004-10
54 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2004
Date Written: July 2004
First, theoretical considerations and selected empirical results of previous studies explaining participation in elections and referenda are presented. We consider the decision hypothesis, the mobilisation hypothesis, the expressive voting approach as well as two hypotheses which have been developed by political scientists. To test these hypotheses, we use data of Swiss referenda and initiatives from 1981 to 1999. The empirical results strongly support the mobilisation but not the decision hypothesis. That the expected financial consequences of a proposal have an impact on the turnout of optional referenda but not of initiatives is at least somewhat at odds with the expressive voting approach.
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Keywords: Expected Closeness, Expressive Voting, Campaign Expenditure, Turnout, Direct Democracy
JEL Classification: D72
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation