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How Do Government Employees Influence Election Outcomes

Brian Dwight Baugus and George Diemer ()

The American Economist, 2016, vol. 61, issue 2, 245-262

Abstract: The number of Americans employed by the government has grown over the years both in absolute numbers and as a proportion of the population. Assuming that these people are rational voters, they have a strong incentive to vote for candidates who seem most committed to maintaining the status quo or increasing the size and scope of government. However, this may not be the preference of the electorate as a whole, at least in some elections. This reality sets up a situation where bureaucrats could vote in significantly different patterns than the nonbureaucrat population. Under some conditions, it is possible that government employees are the marginal difference in an election outcome. This article explores how much influence government employees exert on election outcomes. In short, we seek to demonstrate how jurisdictions with a disproportionate share of government employees vote differently than other jurisdictions. We also explore what implications that may have on campaign resource allocation.

Keywords: government employees; elections; strategic electioneering; voting; super voters (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:sae:amerec:v:61:y:2016:i:2:p:245-262

DOI: 10.1177/0569434516653750

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