# A Test of the Marginalist Defense of the Rational Voter Hypothesis Using Quantile Regression

## Abstract

This chapter uses quantile regression to uncover variations in the strength of the relationship between the expected closeness of the outcome, size of the electorate and voter turnout in Norwegian school language referendums. Referendums with a low turnout show a weak positive effect of closeness and a strong negative effect of size, the opposite being true of referendums with a high turnout. The results substantiate the marginalist defense of the Downsian rational voter hypothesis, which asserts that, while closeness and size cannot explain the absolute level of turnout, they can account for change at the margin.

### Keywords

Rational voter theory Voter turnout Quantile regression## Notes

### Acknowledgments

I would like to thank Morten Søberg, who provided the data on Norwegian school language referendums, and Dennis C. Mueller for constructive criticism.

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