Is the decline in voter turnout an indicator of a worse health of a representative democracy? We build a simple probabilistic-voting model with endogenous turnout to address this question. We find that a lower turnout caused by a higher cost of voting implies higher political rents. Contrarily, a lower turnout caused by a higher ideological mobility of voters or by a lower expressive benefit of voting implies lower political rents. If voters have a civic-duty motive to vote that depends on the level of rents, multiple equilibria (a high-rents low-turnout and a low-rents high-turnout) arise.
|Number of pages||25|
|Journal||Journal of Public Economic Theory|
|Publication status||Published - 2015|