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Mobilization, cost of voting and turnout: a natural randomized experiment with double elections

Christine Fauvelle-Aymar () and Abel François

Public Choice, 2015, vol. 162, issue 1, 183-199

Abstract: This article uses a peculiarity of French local elections to test the influence of mobilization factors and the cost of voting on electoral turnout. At local elections, half of the constituencies have to vote in a single election (regional elections), whereas the other half cast two ballots (a departmental election and a regional election). Since these two categories of constituencies are distributed randomly, this context provides the conditions of a natural randomized experiment. Comparison of the turnout rates in both types of constituencies allows us to assess in a particularly robust way the significant impacts of mobilization activities and of the cost of voting on turnout in the context of double ballots. We estimate the average impact of an additional election at the national level on turnout to be around four percentage points, but this impact is much higher at the local level. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Keywords: Electoral turnout; Electoral mobilization; Cost of voting; Natural experiment; Random experiment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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DOI: 10.1007/s11127-014-0212-0

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