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Voter Turnout in Concurrent Votes

Reto Foellmi, Rino Heim () and Lukas Schmid ()

No 2209, Economics Working Paper Series from University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science

Abstract: This paper studies voter turnout in concurrent votes. We develop a theoretical model that incorporates proposition salience and two types of voting costs. The first type is fixed costs of going to the polls that are to be paid only once per voting day. The second type is information costs that must be paid for each vote separately. Our model explains how the net benefit of concurrent votes, defined as salience minus information costs, enters a voter's utility function and thereby affects turnout. We test our model predictions using data on concurrent propositions in Switzerland from 1981-2016. Our results suggest that both the proposition with the highest net benefit and the sum of the net benefits of all concurrent propositions are important determinants of the individual turnout decision. We also find that the marginal impact on turnout rises with the net benefit of a proposition.

Keywords: Concurrent votes; turnout; rational voter model; referendums (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D72 D90 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 34 pages
Date: 2022-08, Revised 2022-09
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm, nep-pol and nep-upt
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:usg:econwp:2022:09

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