The determinants of voter turnout in OECD : An aggregated cross-national study using panel data

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Statistiska institutionen


This paper examines in a descriptive manner how two groups of variables, institutional and socio-economic, correlate with voter turnout respectively and if their magnitude have changed over time in OECD countries. Previous research is often based on data from the 70’s and 80’s. Since then, voter turnout in democratic countries has decreased and more citizens do not use their fundamental democratic right of being involved in the process of choosing their representatives. To answer the paper hypotheses i.e. analyzing what factors that correlates with voter turnout, panel data between 1980 and 2012 are used which is estimated by an OLS approach. The outcome of the empirical estimations indicates that 13 out of 19 variables have a significant relationship with turnout. Most of the variables magnitudes are a bit lower than previous literature. From the time sensitivity analysis the result indicates that voters are less influenced by the significant variables that focus on the voting cost. It seems that voters in the 21st century meet voting costs in different manner than previously.

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