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Concurrent elections and voting behaviour: evidence from an Italian referendum

Francesco Armillei and Enrico Cavallotti ()

No 21164, BAFFI CAREFIN Working Papers from BAFFI CAREFIN, Centre for Applied Research on International Markets Banking Finance and Regulation, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy

Abstract: In September 2020 Italy held a constitutional referendum. On the same election days, many municipalities and some regions held municipal and regional elections. We exploit this unique occasion, caused by the unexpected Covid-19 crisis, to obtain a causal estimate of the effects of the overlap of concurrent elections on the referendum results. When the referendum overlaps with either municipal or regional elections, we find a positive effect on turnout and on the proportion of blank and null votes. We also find a quantitatively small but statistically significant effect on the referendum preferences. We interpret the results through the use of the calculus of voting model, exploiting a slightly modified version of the most widespread one in the literature. Our findings are relevant from a policy-making standpoint, with respect to both fostering turnout and reducing election organizational costs.

Keywords: Concurrent elections; Voting behaviour; Referendum; Calculus of voting (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 37
Date: 2021
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm, nep-pol and nep-ure
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