Turnout and Policy: The role of candidates
Title: Turnout and Policy: The role of candidates
Author: VALASEK, Justin Mattias
Series/Report no.: EUI MWP; 2012/18
Turnout is an important determinant of which candidate wins an election. Since candidates know this, it follows that they will consider turnout when choosing their policy platforms. In this paper I formally examine the effect voter turnout has on candidates' policy positions by characterizing the equilibrium policy choices of candidates given the subsequent equilibrium turnout. I show that alienation among extreme voters, which occurs only when citizens' utility over policy is convex or linear, is a necessary condition for divergent, positive-turnout equilibria. My model suggests that candidate polarization is correlated with the importance of the election outcome and, counterintuitively, predicts that the level of turnout can increase with the cost of voting.
Subject: Voter turnout; policy separation; D72
Type of Access: openAccess