Patience as a Political Virtue: Delayed Gratification and Turnout

Patience as a Political Virtue: Delayed Gratification and Turnout A number of scholars have demonstrated that voter turnout is influenced by the costs of processing information and going to the polls, and the policy benefits associated with the outcome of the election. However, no one has yet noted that the costs of voting are paid on or before Election Day, while policy benefits may not materialize until several days, months, or even years later. Since the costs of voting must be borne before the benefits are realized, people who are more patient should be more willing to vote. We use a “choice game” from experimental economics to estimate individual discount factors which are used to measure patience. We then show that patience significantly increases voter turnout. Political Behavior Springer Journals

Patience as a Political Virtue: Delayed Gratification and Turnout

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Springer US
Copyright © 2006 by Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.
Political Science and International Relations; Political Science; Sociology, general
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