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The Effect of Information on Voter Turnout: Evidence from a Natural Experiment

David Lassen ()

No 04-03, EPRU Working Paper Series from Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics

Abstract: Do better informed people vote more? Recent theories of voter turnout emphasize a positive effect of being informed on the propensity to vote, but the possibility of endogenous information acquisition makes estimation of causal effects difficult. I estimate the causal effects of being informed on voter turnout using unique data from a natural experiment Copenhagen referendum on decentralization. Four of fifteen districts carried out a pilot project, exogenously making pilot city district voters more informed about the effects of decentralization. Empirical estimates based on survey data confirm a sizeable and statistically significant causal effect of being informed on the propensity to vote.

Keywords: voter turnout; information and voting; political participation; natural experiment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 43 pages
Date: 2004-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm and nep-pol
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