You are not currently logged in.
Access JSTOR through your library or other institution:
If You Use a Screen ReaderThis content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
A New Solution to the Collective Action Problem: The Paradox of Voter Turnout
American Sociological Review
Vol. 65, No. 3 (Jun., 2000), pp. 433-442
Published by: American Sociological Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2657465
Page Count: 10
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Preview not available
Macy's work offers a potential solution to the paradox of voter turnout. The stochastic learning theory of voter turnout (Kanazawa 1998) posits that citizens perceive a correlation between their behavior (voting versus abstention) and the outcome of collective action (win versus loss for their candidate), and that they interpret the outcome as a reinforcer or a punisher. The theory can solve the paradox of voter turnout because now p, the probability that one's vote is or appears decisive, equals approximately .500 in the calculus-of-voting model (instead of p ≅ 0). I use General Social Survey data to test the theory. The empirical results indicate that citizens make their turnout decisions according to the "Win-Stay, Lose-Shift" pattern predicted by the stochastic learning theory, especially if there are no strong third-party candidates.
American Sociological Review © 2000 American Sociological Association