Public Choice

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 101–105 | Cite as

Why do high income people participate more in politics?

  • Bruno S. Frey


To rationally explain political participation, two factors must be taken into account:
  1. a)

    the opportunity costs of the time expended, and

  2. b)

    the productivity of time use in performing political activities.

Ceteris paribus, the higher a), the lower is participation and the higher b), the higher is participation. A combination of these factors gives the following tendencies.


High Income Opportunity Cost Public Finance Political Activity Political Participation 
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  1. 1.
    Dahl, Robert A., Who Governs? Democracy and Power in an American City. New Haven, 1961.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Downs, Anthony, An Economic Theory of Democracy. New York, 1957.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Lane, Robert E., Political Involvement Through Voting. In: B. Seasholes (ed.) Voting, Interest Groups, and Patries. Glenview (Ill.) 1966.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Milbrath, Lester W., Political Participation. How and Why Do People Get Involved in Politics? Chicago, 1965.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Center for Study of Public Choice Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University 1971

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bruno S. Frey
    • 1
  1. 1.Universities of Konstanz and of BaselSwitzerland

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