Political Behavior

, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 123–140 | Cite as

The determinants of turnout in presidential elections: An integrative model accounting for information

  • David Moon


This paper presents a model of turnout that extends the Riker and Ordeshook (1968) model to account for the purchase of new information for assessing outcome-contingent benefits and that seeks to integrate the various institutional, sociological, psychological, and economic factors that have been advanced to account for turnout in American presidential elections. Personal and institutional data from the 1972 and 1976 ICPSR NES Panel Study and Vote Validation Survey are used to test the model. The results suggest that a variety of factors are important in influencing the turnout decision, including the perceived difference between the candidates (in 1976), sense of social duty, sense of attachment to relevant groups, political efficacy, resource constraints, residence, and the costs of registering (in 1976). Closeness of the election also seemed to have a significant impact in 1976.


Integrative Model Economic Factor Resource Constraint Presidential Election Panel Study 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Moon
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of MiamiCoral Gables

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