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Exit Polls and Voter Turnout

Thomas Jensen () and Asger Lau Andersen
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Asger Lau Andersen: Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen

No 2010-10, EPRU Working Paper Series from Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics

Abstract: We set up a model of elections or referendums with two alternatives to study how voter turnout and election outcomes are affected by the publication of exit polls on election day. We find that the introduction of an exit poll influences the incentive to vote both before and after the poll is published, but the signs of the effects are generally ambiguous. The fact that exit polls influence the incentive to vote before they are even published is sometimes overlooked in the debate on their desirability. We show that this can lead to premature conclusions about the impact of exit polls on election outcomes.

Keywords: elections; exit polls; voter turnout (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D71 D72 D82 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 26 pages
Date: 2010-09
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm and nep-pol
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