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Social Norms and the Paradox of Elections’ Turnout

João Amaro de Matos () and Pedro Barros ()

Public Choice, 2004, vol. 121, issue 1, 239-255

Abstract: People vote although their marginal gain from voting is zero.We contribute to the resolution of this paradox by presentinga model for equilibrium configuration of attitudes regardingthe decision to vote. Each individual is seen as an element ofa social network, within which pairs of individuals expressideas and attitudes, exerting mutual influence. We model therole of such networks in propagating the mutual influenceacross pairs of individuals. We show that it may suffice thata small set of individuals have a strong feeling about showingup to vote to generate a significant turnout in elections. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Date: 2004
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