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Electoral Turnout During States of Emergency and Effects on Incumbent Vote Shares

Marco Frank, David Stadelmann and Benno Torgler

VfS Annual Conference 2021 (Virtual Conference): Climate Economics from Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association

Abstract: Bavarian mayors are elected by majority rule in two-round (runoff) elections. Between the first and second ballot of the mayoral election in March 2020, the Bavarian state government announced an official state of emergency with measures to fight the spread of Covid-19, including a shutdown of public life. For the second ballot, voting in person was prohibited and only postal voting was allowed. We contrast turnout of the first and second ballot in 2020 with the first and second ballots from previous elections in a difference-indifferences setting. The state of emergency led to a more than 10 percentage points higher turnout in Bavarian municipalities. We employ the state of emergency induced higher turnout from the difference-in-differences setting as an instrument to analyze the effect of turnout on the vote shares of local incumbents. A 10-percentage point increase in turnout leads to a 3.4 percentage point higher vote share for incumbent mayors. Our results point to the relevance of turnout related incumbency effects.

Keywords: Incumbency effects; turnout; mayoral elections; voting in crises (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D72 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-pol
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https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/242332/1/vfs-2021-pid-48386.pdf (application/pdf)

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Working Paper: Electoral Turnout During States of Emergency and Effects on Incumbent Vote Share (2020) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:zbw:vfsc21:242332

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