Estimating Voter Migration in Canada Using Generalized Maximum Entropy

26 Pages Posted: 18 Sep 2006  

Werner Antweiler

University of British Columbia (UBC) - Sauder School of Business

Date Written: August 13, 2006

Abstract

As voters switch political preferences from election to election, understanding the magnitude of voter flows among parties and transitions between voters and non-voters is an essential element of political analysis. As exit polls are uncommon in Canada, voter migration can also be estimated using suitable statistical techniques. Backing out micro-level voter migration probabilities from macro-level election data is a problem of `ecological inference.' This paper uses the method of generalized maximum entropy (GME) to estimate voter migration patterns for the two most recent recent Canadian federal elections (2004 and 2006) and the most recent provincial election in British Columbia (2005). The estimation results answer important questions about voter behaviour in Canada. These results will be of interest to political scientists, historians, and politicians, as well as econometric practicioners who wish to estimate voter migration.

Keywords: Electoral Study, Canada, Generalized Maximum Entropy, Voter Migration

JEL Classification: D72, C13

Suggested Citation

Antweiler, Werner, Estimating Voter Migration in Canada Using Generalized Maximum Entropy (August 13, 2006). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=930232 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.930232

Werner Antweiler (Contact Author)

University of British Columbia (UBC) - Sauder School of Business ( email )

2053 Main Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2
Canada

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