Using county-level data across several decades, and various OLS
and TSLS models, we find that higher local wages and employment
lower turnout in elections for governor, senator, US Congress and
state House of Representatives, but have no effect on presidential
turnout. We also find that the share of people voting in one election
but not in another on the same ballot increases as local labor market
conditions improve. We argue that these results are most consistent
with information-based models of voting, and use individual level
panel data to show that increased employment lowers media usage
and political knowledge.
Charles, Kerwin Kofi, and Melvin Stephens Jr.
"Employment, Wages, and Voter Turnout."
American Economic Journal: Applied Economics,
Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief
Time Allocation and Labor Supply
Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics: Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population; Neighborhood Characteristics