Voter Turnout and Preference Aggregation
- American Economic Journal: Microeconomics (Forthcoming)
We study how voter turnout affects the aggregation of preferences in elections.
Under voluntary voting, election outcomes disproportionately aggregate
the preferences of voters with low voting cost and high preference intensity. We
show identification of the correlation structure among preferences, costs, and perceptions
of voting efficacy, and explore how the correlation affects preference
aggregation. Using 2004 U.S. presidential election data, we find that young, lowincome,
less-educated, and minority voters are underrepresented. All of these
groups tend to prefer Democrats, except for the less-educated. Democrats would
have won the majority of the electoral votes if all eligible voters had turned out.
Forthcoming Article Downloads