Competition and turnout revisited: The importance of measuring expected closeness accurately

TitleCompetition and turnout revisited: The importance of measuring expected closeness accurately
Publication TypeJournal Article
AuthorsSimonovits, G.
Journal titleElectoral Studies
Year2012
Pages364-71
Volume31
Issue2
Abstract

This study aims at contributing to the literature on the effect of political competition on electoral participation. I test the Downsian Closeness Hypothesis (DCH) on data from runoffs in general elections in Hungary. The expected closeness of the runoffs is proxied with first round margins of victory. The findings of the paper are consistent with the DCH: increases in margins between two parties in the first round significantly decrease turnout in the second, even when turnout in the first round is controlled for. This is in line with the theoretical considerations of the DCH but contrary to a large part of the existing empirical literature. The estimates of closeness are substantially greater than in previous papers and suggest that previous studies of the DCH using actual closeness as a proxy for expected closeness encountered a serious measurement error problem.

DOIhttps://doi.org/10.1016/j.electstud.2012.01.009
Publisher linkhttps://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0261379412000236
Unit: 
Department of Political Science
Doctoral School of Political Science, Public Policy and International Relations
File attachment: