Public Choice

, Volume 121, Issue 1–2, pp 239–255 | Cite as

Social Norms and the Paradox of Elections’ Turnout

  • João Amaro de Matos
  • Pedro P. Barros


People vote although their marginal gain from voting is zero.We contribute to the resolution of this paradox by presentinga model for equilibrium configuration of attitudes regardingthe decision to vote. Each individual is seen as an element ofa social network, within which pairs of individuals expressideas and attitudes, exerting mutual influence. We model therole of such networks in propagating the mutual influenceacross pairs of individuals. We show that it may suffice thata small set of individuals have a strong feeling about showingup to vote to generate a significant turnout in elections.


Social Network Social Norm Public Finance Mutual Influence Equilibrium Configuration 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • João Amaro de Matos
    • 1
  • Pedro P. Barros
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculdade de Economia, Campus de CampolideUniversidade Nova de LisboaLisboaPortugal

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