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Voter turnout and public sector employment policy

Sebastian Garmann ()
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Sebastian Garmann: University of Bochum

The Review of International Organizations, 2020, vol. 15, issue 4, No 4, 845-868

Abstract: Abstract Economic theory suggests that high voter turnout is not necessarily welfare maximizing. Low turnout elections, however, might be captured by interest groups. Using data from German local governments in the period 1993–2015, I empirically study the link between turnout and policy outcomes. Local public sector employment policy responds to plausibly exogenous turnout shocks in elections for the head of the local public administration, in which public employees are arguably an important interest group. Specifically, using concurrent elections as an instrument for turnout, I find that low turnout significantly changes public employment policy in favor of the public employees.

Keywords: Turnout; Special-interest politics; Election timing; Voting costs; Public employment; Mobilization; D72; D73; H7 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1007/s11558-019-09346-0

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