Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
A Behavioral Theory of Elections$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Jonathan Bendor, Daniel Diermeier, David A. Siegel, and Michael M. Ting

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691135076

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691135076.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 19 February 2020



(p.80) Chapter Four Turnout
A Behavioral Theory of Elections

Jonathan Bendor

Daniel Diermeier

David A. Siegel

Michael M. Ting

Princeton University Press

This chapter focuses on voter participation, perhaps the most well-known anomaly for rational choice theory. The problem goes like this: in large electorates, the chance that any single voter will be pivotal is very small. Consequently, the cost of voting will outweigh the expected gains from turning out and few citizens will vote. This prediction is not consistent with some of the most easily observed facts about elections. The chapter introduces a basic model of electoral participation that focuses on voters’ turnout decisions under fixed candidate platforms. Contrary to the “paradox of turnout” raised by game-theoretic models of turnout, the model consistently generates realistically high levels of turnout. It also produces comparative statics, including those for voting cost, population size, and faction size, that are intuitive and empirically supported.

Keywords:   voter participation, rational choice theory, election voting, elections, voters, voter turnout, platforms, population size, faction size

Princeton Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.