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In this book voter behavior is analyzed from an economist's point of view. The influence of an economy on voter behavior is investigated and this behavior is analyzed in the perspective commonly used by economists. Econom(etr)ic tools are applied in the analyses. The book contains empirical analyses linking demographic variables to voter turnout and party choice using cross-section data for the Netherlands. Attention is focused on whether turnout and party choice decisions are taken sequentially or simultaneously by voters. An empirical test supports the former. Using these results, behavioral models of party choice and voter turnout are developed. Existing econometric analyses of voting behavior are put on a more solid theoretical footing. In both models a group perspective is used, in line with increased attention for this perspective in economics and political science. Empirical applications of the party choice model allow for an estimation of relative preferences for public goods, using the revealed preference mechanism provided by voting (intention). An alternative method for detecting these preferences, a new survey design, is discussed as well. In the turnout model, attention is fo- cused on the role of "civic duty" in a group context.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Introducing the Subject

Frontmatter

1. Introduction

Abstract
Voter behavior is a subject almost everybody has an opinion about. Due to extensive mass media attention for all kinds of election surveys in the periods just before and after elections, but in the years in between as well, many general notions on individual behavior in elections exist. Examples are the idea that workers vote for the labor party and are less likely to cast a vote in case of bad weather, or that people with high incomes are more right-wing than people with low incomes.
Arthur J. H. C. Schram

2. Existing Studies in the Field

Abstract
In this chapter a number of studies is discussed, in which voter behavior is analyzed in economic perspective. The presentation is meant to give an impression of the kind of work done in this field, and is certainly not intended to be exhaustive. Furthermore, a number of important contributions will only be mentioned in passing, because they are dealt with elsewhere in this book. Especially Chapters 3, 5, and 8 contain extensive discussions of the literature related to the subjects at hand.
Arthur J. H. C. Schram

Empirical Models Applied to the Netherlands

Frontmatter

3. An Empirical Analysis of Voter Turnout in the Netherlands

Abstract
The last decade or so, many attempts have been made to explain voting behavior using economic or demographic variables. One of the questions asked, is the impact of individual characteristics on the decision to vote or abstain. This chapter starts by discussing some studies that have looked into this matter. The conclusions of these studies as well as the methods of research and the shortcomings thereof will be surveyed. This discussion will serve as a starting point for our own research, presented in the following sections. The emphasis in this Chapter is on the empirical literature relating personal characteristics to voter turnout. The more fundamental question why people take the trouble to vote is addressed in Part IV of this book. There, the existing (theoretical) literature on the calculus of voting is discussed and a model of voter turnout is developed. The present chapter is only concerned with mapping out the turnout behavior of various groups of individuals.
Arthur J. H. C. Schram

4. An Empirical Analysis of Party Choice in the Netherlands

Abstract
Having discussed the relationship between a number of demographic variables and the decision to vote or abstain in the previous chapter, we now turn to the subsequent matter of party choice. Using the variables of the preceding analyses, the effect of these variables on individual party choice in the Netherlands will be investigated. A multinomial logit model will be applied to this purpose. The model will include the possibility of a voter abstaining in two different ways, to be explained later.
Arthur J. H. C. Schram

A Behavioral Model of Party Choice and the Demand for Public Goods

Frontmatter

5. A Behavioral Model of Party Choice

Abstract
In Chapter 4, a number of variables have been distinguished that proved to be of importance in the party choice of Dutch voters. The main aim of the present chapter is to present and discuss a more sophisticated behavioral model of voter behavior. The results of Chapter 4 are used as point of departure by appointing a central role to income and social category in the vote decision whilst correcting for unexplained effects of other variables, such as education and religious attitude. The model to be presented describes how voters adapt their previous party choice to the present situation by evaluating the performance of various parties with regard to variables they consider to be important. A general model, rooted in recognizable individual interests, is aimed at.
Arthur J. H. C. Schram

6. Empirical Applications: The Demand for Public Goods

Abstract
In this chapter, two empirical applications of the model presented in Chapter 5 are discussed. Besides providing a test for the model, these allow for the determination of the original parameters. Of special interest is the estimation of the parameters concerning the relative preference for public versus private consumption possibilities. The estimation of preferences individuals have for public (non-marketed) goods, is a well-known problem in public economics. Due to the absence of markets true preferences are hard to determine (see Chapter 7). To obtain estimations for these preferences, four general lines of research have been followed, to wit: (1) median voter models (see Section 2.3), where typically a cross-section of communities with various levels of publicly supplied goods has been used to estimate the demand functions for those with median income (see, e.g., Borcherding and Deacon, 1972; Bergstrom and Goodman, 1973; Pommerehne and Frey, 1976; Courant et al., 1979); (2) survey methods, where demand is measured using various kinds of questionnaires (Strauss and Hughes, 1976; Gibson, 1980; Ferris, 1983; Hockley and Harbour, 1983); under this heading one may also place the preference revelation mechanisms designed by Clarke (1971), Tideman and Tullock (1976), and others.
Arthur J. H. C. Schram

7. Expressed Preferences for Public Goods

Abstract
As discussed in Section 6.1, an alternative method for detecting individual preferences for public goods is by asking individuals about these preferences in surveys. This is an interesting alternative because, on the one hand, it enables an estimation of these preferences using a completely different method than the one discussed in the previous chapter, and, on the other hand, it allows one to investigate the differences between socio-economic groups with respect to these preferences, an important feature of this book. Contrary to the method discussed in Chapters 5 and 6, in this case no actual individual behavior (choices), but only expressed preferences are available. Bohm (1984) suggests two criteria which must be fulfilled by any method used to assess public good demand, an ‘intelligibility’ condition and a ‘verifiability’ condition. The former refers to the fact that the method (i.c., a survey) must be simple and easily understood by ‘ordinary’ people, whereas the latter indicates that the method must either be guaranteed accurate or simply verified. Intelligibility demands that the respondents understand the questions asked, whereas verifiability asks for a thorough analysis of potential sources of bias related to the questions. There are many sources of bias known in applying this method
Arthur J. H. C. Schram

The Calculus of Voting

Frontmatter

8. Voter Turnout and Social Pressure

Abstract
In this chapter a model is presented, in which the decision to cast a vote or to abstain is made by making a cost-benefit analysis. The analysis concerns the first step in the sequential voting decision as described in Chapter 4. The model fits into the tradition of rational choice models in this field.
Arthur J. H. C. Schram

9. Some Implications of the Turnout Model

Abstract
In this chapter, the turnout model presented in Chapter 8 will be discussed more deeply with respect to three important aspects, to wit, equilibria, application in winner-takes-all situations, and empirical justification. The two-step procedure consisting of a production decision concerning social pressure and a subsequent vote decision is used in the present chapter, though the n-step procedure introduced in Section 8.5 could easily be applied instead.
Arthur J. H. C. Schram

Epilogue

Frontmatter

10. Summary and Evaluation

Abstract
In this chapter, a summary and evaluation of the book is presented in order to recall and review the major results obtained. First the book as a whole, and subsequently Parts II, III, and IV are summarized in Section 10.2. Only a general overview of the results is presented here, for a more detailed discussion the reader is referred to the relevant chapters.
Arthur J. H. C. Schram

Backmatter

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