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The Effect of Information on Voter Turnout: Evidence from a Natural Experiment
David Dreyer Lassen
American Journal of Political Science
Vol. 49, No. 1 (Jan., 2005), pp. 103-118
Published by: Midwest Political Science Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3647716
Page Count: 16
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Do better-informed people vote more? Recent formal theories of voter turnout emphasize a positive effect of being informed on the propensity to vote, but the possibility of endogenous information acquisition makes estimation of causal effects difficult. I estimate the causal effects of being informed on voter turnout using unique data from a natural experiment Copenhagen referendum on decentralization. Four of fifteen districts carried out a pilot project, exogenously making pilot city district voters more informed about the effects of decentralization. Empirical estimates based on survey data confirm a sizeable and statistically significant causal effect of being informed on the propensity to vote.
American Journal of Political Science © 2005 Midwest Political Science Association