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Voter Turnout in Italian Municipal Elections, 2002–2013

Federico Revelli ()

Italian Economic Journal: A Continuation of Rivista Italiana degli Economisti and Giornale degli Economisti, 2017, vol. 3, issue 2, No 2, 165 pages

Abstract: Abstract This paper investigates the determinants of voter turnout in a panel dataset of more than 15,000 Italian municipal elections through over a decade (2002–2013). The estimation results show a significant negative effect of the size of the electorate on voter turnout, and an impact of its demographic structure that is compatible with the political life-cycle hypothesis. Moreover, turnout is systematically higher when municipal elections are held concomitantly as more salient contests, and all indicators of election closeness are estimated to influence voter turnout in the expected direction: turnout is increasing in the number of mayor candidates, it is decreasing in the win margin of the mayor, and it is significantly lower, and by almost seven percentage points, in uncontested elections. Finally, while the overall rate of voter turnout falls by about ten percentage points during the period I analyze, predicted turnout on observables shows no declining trend, suggesting that neither demographic trends nor changes in the degree of electoral competition over time can be deemed responsible for the observed decline in voter turnout.

Keywords: Voting; Turnout; Political life-cycle; Salience; Electoral uncertainty (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D72 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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Working Paper: Voter turnout in Italian municipal elections, 2002-2013 (2016) Downloads
Working Paper: Voter turnout in Italian municipal elections, 2002-2013 (2016) Downloads
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DOI: 10.1007/s40797-017-0050-6

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