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Voter Turnout and the Benefits of Voting

John E. Filer and Lawrence W. Kenny
Public Choice
Vol. 35, No. 5 (1980), pp. 575-585
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30023401
Page Count: 11
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Voter Turnout and the Benefits of Voting
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Abstract

A model of voting behavior is developed that predicts that individuals vote if the absolute value of voting for or against a referendum exceeds the cost of voting. The results obtained from examining voting on city-county consolidation referenda and in New York state (1) provide support for the relatively untested prediction that turnout rises as the absolute value of the mean gains resulting from an electoral outcome increase and (2) augment the evidence that turnout rises as the probability of altering an electoral outcome increases and falls as the cost of voting rises.

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