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Journal Article

Using elicited choice probabilities in hypothetical elections to study decisions to vote

Authors

Publication date

Jun 2015

Summary

This paper demonstrates the feasibility and usefulness of survey research asking respondents to report voting probabilities in hypothetical election scenarios. Posing scenarios enriches the data available for studies of voting decisions, as a researcher can pose many more and varied scenarios than the elections that persons actually face. Multiple scenarios were presented to over 4000 participants in the American Life Panel (ALP). Each described a hypothetical presidential election, giving characteristics measuring candidate preference, closeness of the election, and the time cost of voting. Persons were asked the probability that they would vote in this election and were willing and able to respond. We analyzed the data through direct study of the variation of voting probabilities with election characteristics and through estimation of a random utility model of voting. Voting time and election closeness were notable determinants of decisions to vote, but not candidate preference. Most findings were corroborated through estimation of a model fit to ALP data on respondents' actual voting behavior in the 2012 election.

Published in

Electoral Studies

Volume and page numbers

38 , 28 -37

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.electstud.2015.01.006

ISSN

16

Subjects

Politics and Survey Methodology

Links

http://serlib0.essex.ac.uk/record=b1614026~S5

Notes

Albert Sloman Library Periodicals *restricted to Univ. Essex registered users*

#523163


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