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American Economic Review: Vol. 96 No. 4 (September 2006)


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A Theory of Participation in Elections

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Feddersen, Timothy, and Alvaro Sandroni. 2006. "A Theory of Participation in Elections." American Economic Review, 96(4): 1271-1282.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.96.4.1271


We analyze a model of participation in elections in which voting is costly and no vote is pivotal. Ethical agents are motivated to participate when they determine that agents of their type are obligated to do so. Unlike previous duty-based models of participation, in our model an ethical agent\'s obligation to vote is determined endogenously as a function of the behavior of other agents. Our model predicts high turnout and comparative statics that are consistent with strategic behavior. (JEL D72)

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Feddersen, Timothy
Sandroni, Alvaro

American Economic Review

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