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An Empirically Inspired Theory of Turnout and Voting

  • Location
    Erasmus University Rotterdam, Lounge/kitchen E Building floor E1
  • Date and time

    October 13, 2022
    12:00 - 13:00

Why another theoretical model of voter behavior? First, recent empirical studies provide new insights into the drivers of people's turnout and vote decisions. Second, existing voter models predominantly focus on turnout decisions and often ignore vote decisions. This leads to inconsistent explanations of observed voting patterns. We build on Harbaugh (1996), who theoretically explored social image concerns as drivers of turnout decisions. Our model explains turnout, lying about abstaining, and vote decisions. Its predictions are consistent with several studies on the effects of information about candidates on electoral outcomes. Furthermore, the model casts new light on recent studies on expressive and strategic voting in elections in France . Finally, the model yields a variety of new testable predictions. Joint paper with Otto Swank.