Reading Downs and the likelihood of voting

Since tomorrow is national election day in the US, the get out the vote drives are in full swing.  So, in celebration of voting, a few relevant articles on academics and voting:

The rational voter paradox illustrated by DownsAn Economic Theory of Democracy suggests few should actually vote, but many do.  This may be due to voters not realizing what the costs to voting actually are, the benefits are imagined larger than they are, or there exists non-economic benefits (social or normative benefits). Brundt 1980 goes for the bounded rationality arguments on information and finds that discussing the rational voter model with undergraduates decreases their likelihood of voting.

Second, those expected to be familiar with the Downsian model are less likely to vote when accounting for education level (despite the obvious generalizability errors they make, still a fun read).  However, economists are much worse than political scientists (at least in California).

See you at the polls tomorrow! 


Michael A. Allen

About Michael A. Allen

Michael is an Assistant Professor in Political Science at Boise State University with a focus in International Relations, Comparative Politics, and Methodology (quantitative and formal). His work includes issues related to military basing abroad, asymmetric relations, cooperation, and conflict. He received his Ph.D from Binghamton University in 2011.

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