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Working Paper

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This paper proposes a model of turnout in which citizens have a preference for conformism, which adds to the instrumental preference for the electoral outcome. Under this environment multiple equilibria arise, some that generate a (more realistic) high level of turnout, for a wide rage of parameter values. It is also shown that high levels of turnout are robust to the introduction of asymmetry and heterogeneity in the parameter governing the preference for conformism and with respect to the reference group for conformism.

This model suggests that high turnout can only be achieved as the outcome of a particular coordination among citizens and, therefore, introduces a different perspective in understanding the citizens' decision to vote, which allows also to account for large shifts in turnout rates that are observed after compulsory laws have been introduced or abolished. Moreover, this set up proposes a theory for the D term used in rational theories of voting to account for high turnout rates.


Turnout, compulsory voting, Poisson games, coordination games, conformism.


Econometrics | Political Science | Statistics and Probability

Research Areas

Applied Microeconomics



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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.