Individual characteristics, institutional incentives and electoral abstention in Western Europe

Individual characteristics, institutional incentives and electoral abstention in Western Europe Abstract. This article examines the interaction between individual characteristics and institutional incentives in non–voting, with a special focus on the interaction between these two types of explanatory variables. The analysis of survey and contextual data for parliamentary elections in 15 Western European countries shows that the effect of individual resources and motivations on abstention is not constant across different countries. Conversely, the effect of institutional incentives (compulsory voting, voting facilities, electoral thresholds of representation and preference expression) on non–voting depends on the elector's level of resources and motivations. One of the four institutional incentives considered has even opposite effects for citizens with different individual characteristics. The analysis also shows that when analysing interactions it is fundamental to distinguish between magnitudes and consequences of the effects of explanatory variables. This has important implications for the interpretation of the results of logistic regression analysis. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png European Journal of Political Research Wiley

Individual characteristics, institutional incentives and electoral abstention in Western Europe

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2002 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
0304-4130
eISSN
1475-6765
D.O.I.
10.1111/1475-6765.00025
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract. This article examines the interaction between individual characteristics and institutional incentives in non–voting, with a special focus on the interaction between these two types of explanatory variables. The analysis of survey and contextual data for parliamentary elections in 15 Western European countries shows that the effect of individual resources and motivations on abstention is not constant across different countries. Conversely, the effect of institutional incentives (compulsory voting, voting facilities, electoral thresholds of representation and preference expression) on non–voting depends on the elector's level of resources and motivations. One of the four institutional incentives considered has even opposite effects for citizens with different individual characteristics. The analysis also shows that when analysing interactions it is fundamental to distinguish between magnitudes and consequences of the effects of explanatory variables. This has important implications for the interpretation of the results of logistic regression analysis.

Journal

European Journal of Political ResearchWiley

Published: Aug 1, 2002

References

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