Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/112278
Authors: 
Bönisch, Peter
Geys, Benny
Michelsen, Claus
Year of Publication: 
2015
Series/Report no.: 
DIW Discussion Papers 1491
Abstract: 
This article analyses how the presence of a dominant group of voters within the electorate affects voter turnout. Theoretically, we argue that both the absolute size and the relative power of a dominant group influence voters' decision-making process. The former effect derives from increased free-riding incentives and reduced social pressure to vote within a larger dominant group, while the latter effect is driven by instrumental and expressive responses-in both the dominant and dominated groups-to electoral competition between groups. Our empirical analysis of a large cross-section of German municipalities confirms this joint importance of a dominant group's absolute and relative size for voter turnout. Such effects should thus be taken into account when redesigning electoral jurisdictions through, for instance, municipal mergers or gerrymandering.
Subjects: 
Voter turnout
Power
Group size
Merger
Gerrymandering
JEL: 
D70
D72
H11
H40
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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