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Re-examining Voter Turnout in Large Elections

Curtis Taylor and Huseyin Yildirim

No 05-09, Working Papers from Duke University, Department of Economics

Abstract: A well-known shortcoming of rational voter models is that the equilibrium probability that an individual votes converges to zero as the population of citizens tends to infinity. We show that this does not ñ as is often suggested ñ imply that equilibrium voter turnout is insignificant in the limit. We characterize limiting equilibrium turnout and show that it may actually be arbitrarily large. Indeed, expected equilibrium turnout is shown to be closely approximated by 1/ where c is the lowest possible realization of an individualís voting cost.

Pages: 20 pages
Date: 2005
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