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Why is Voting Habit-Forming: Evidence from Sweden

Melton, James Why is Voting Habit-Forming: Evidence from Sweden. Working Paper (Unpublished)

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For decades, scholars of electoral behavior have noted persistence in individuals' turnout decisions and hypothesized that such persistence is the result of habit. Recent empirical studies provide persuasive evidence supporting the habitual voting hypothesis, but we still do not know why individuals develop habits for voting. One theory is that voting causes individuals' to view themselves as "voters," increasing their future probabilities of voting. Another theory asserts that voting may ease institutional barriers, making future voting less costly and changing conative attitudes towards voting. This study seeks to disentangle these two causal mechanisms by testing the habitual voting hypothesis in Sweden. Since institutional barriers to voting are minimal in Sweden, evidence in favor of the habitual voting hypothesis will lend credence to a psychological mechanism. The opposite result will point to an institutional mechanism. Ultimately, habitual voting is found in Sweden, which suggests the psychological mechanism is valid.

Item Type: Working Paper (Working Paper)
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Research Area: Economics and Institutional Change
Depositing User: Users 25 not found.
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2011 15:31
Last Modified: 11 Jul 2011 14:32
URI: http://eprints.imtlucca.it/id/eprint/47

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