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Below results based on the criteria 'voter turnout'
Total number of records returned: 5
An Observational Study of Ballot Initiatives and State Outcomes
It has long been understood that the presence of the ballot initiative process leads to different outcomes among states. In general, extant research has found that the presence of ballot initiatives tends to increase voter turnout and depress state revenues and expenditures. I reconsider this possibility and demonstrate that past findings are an artifact of incorrect research design. Failure to account for differences in states often leads to a confounding association between ballot initiatives and voter turnout and fiscal policy. Here, I conduct an observational study based on a counterfactual model of inference to analyze the effects of ballot initiatives. The resulting research design leads to two analyses. First, I utilize the synthetic case control method, which allows me to compare over time outcomes in states with initiatives to states without initiatives while accounting for pretreatment baseline differences across states. Second, I use matching to assess voter turnout differences across metro areas along state boundaries with and without ballot initiatives. In both analyses, I find that ballot initiatives rarely have spillover effects on voter turnout and state fiscal policy.
How Much is Minnesota Like Wisconsin? States as Counterfactuals
Political scientists are often interested in understanding whether state laws alter individual level behavior. For example, states often alter their election procedures, which can increase or decrease the cost of voting. In this example, it is important to understand whether these changes alter turnout since changes in costs may disproportionally affect those at the margin of voting. Analysts have typically used one of two different regression based research designs to estimate whether changes in state laws increase or decrease turnout. In both instances, voters from states without a change in laws are used as counterfactuals for the voters who experience a change in election law. Here, we carefully examine the assumptions behind both research designs and study their plausibility. Next, we outline a series of research design elements that can be used in addition to the usual designs. These research design elements allow the analyst to better understand the role of unobserved confounders, which is obscured in standard research designs. Using these design elements, we demonstrate that what appears to be clear cut evidence from the usual research designs is often a function confounding. We argue that to truly understand how changes in voting costs alters turnout, a different research design is required. Future work must rely on a research design that makes comparisons among voters who live within the same state. Our work has implications beyond turnout to any investigation of how state level treatments alter individual behavior.
Can Voting Reduce Welfare? Evidence from the US Telecommunications Sector
Voter turnout is popularly cited as reflecting a polity's health. The ease with which electoral members influence policy can, however, constrain an economy's productive capacity. For example, while influential electorates might carefully monitor political agents, they might also "capture" them. In the latter case, electorates transfer producer surplus to consumers at the expense of social welfare - i.e., a "healthy" polity's economy rests at an inferior equilibrium. I develop evidence that the US telecommunications sector may have realized such an outcome. This evidence is remarkably difficult to dismiss as an artifact of endogeneity bias, and appears important for several audiences. For example, the normative regulation literature calls for constraints on producers' market power, while the institutions and commitment literature calls for checks on political agents' opportunism. Evidence that I develop here suggests that, unbound by similar constraints, electoral principals might effectively control their political agents while significantly retarding their economic agents' productive incentives.
Measuring Voter Turnout in the National Election Studies
Burden, Barry C.
Though the overreport of voter turnout in the National Election Study (NES) is widely known, this paper documents that the bias has become increasingly severe. The gap between NES and official estimates of presidential election has more than doubled from 11 points in 1952 to 28 points 1996. This occurred because official voter turnout fell steadily from 1960 onward while NES turnout did not. In contrast, the bias in House election turnout is always smaller and has increased only marginally over time, mostly due to inflation in presidential election years. I find that worsening presidential turnout estimates are mostly the result of declining response rates rather than instrumentation, question wording changes, or other factors. Adjusting official turnout estimates to more accurately measure real turnout does not account for the growing gap. Rather, as more peripheral voters elude interviewers in recent years, the NES sample becomes more saturated with self-reported voters, thus inflating reported turnout. The paper concludes by calling for a reevaluation of the NES in the wake of these and other changes that have taken place.
The `Turnout Twist' in Japanese Elections
In the United States, as well as in most other democracies, national elections usually attract more votes than local elections. In Japan, they attract more votes in large municipalities but attract less votes in small municipalities. This paper attempts to explain such a puzzling turnout pattern, which is defined as the ``turnout twist''. The random-effect model estimation and the post-estimation simulation find that the most important variable explaining the turnout twist is the voting-age population per seat. The simulation analysis shows that if this variable did not have any significant effect, national elections would attract more votes than local elections in all municipalities. Since this variable itself and its effect on turnout are largely determined by the disproportional apportionment of seats in both national and local elections, the restrictive regulations to mobilizational activities, and the minimal roles played by political parties in mobilizing votes under the multimember constituency system, the paper concludes that the puzzling turnout twist observed in Japanese elections is a product of Japan's unique institutional arrangements.