14th journées Louis-André Gérard-Varet

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Does High Voter Turnout Discipline Elected Officials? Theory and Evidence
Dong-Hee Joe

Last modified: 2015-03-15

Abstract


Knowing how to discipline elected officials is important for the functioning of representative democracy. We study the role of voter turnout in that context. We first build a simple model to highlight a channel through which voter turnout may play a role. The key assumptions are (i) informed voters have a higher tendency to vote than the uninformed; and (ii) the incumbent does not know the fraction of informed voters in her constituency. Turnout in the last election serves as a noisy signal of this last fraction. This way, high turnout in the last election induces a high effort from the incumbent. We test this prediction using data from the 18th National Assembly of South Korea. Our preliminary results of IV estimation supports the prediction.

Keywords


Voter Turnout; Discipline on Elected Officials