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To Vote or Not to Vote The Merits and Limits of Rational Choice Theory

ISBN-10: 0822957345
ISBN-13: 9780822957348
Edition: 2000
Authors: Andre Blais
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Description: What makes people decide to vote? In addressing this simple question, Andreacute; Blais examines the factors that increase or decrease turnout at the aggregate, cross-national level and considers what affects peoplersquo;s decision to vote or to  More...

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Book details

List price: $25.95
Copyright year: 2000
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press
Publication date: 8/3/2000
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 208
Size: 6.00" wide x 8.75" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.638

What makes people decide to vote? In addressing this simple question, Andreacute; Blais examines the factors that increase or decrease turnout at the aggregate, cross-national level and considers what affects peoplersquo;s decision to vote or to abstain. In doing so, Blais assesses the merits and limitations of the rational choice model in explaining voter behavior. The past few decades have witnessed a rise in the popularity of the rational choice model in accounting for voter turnout, and more recently a groundswell of outspoken opposition to rational choice theory. Blais tackles this controversial subject in an engaging and personal way, bringing together the opposing theories and literatures, and offering convincing tests of these different viewpoints. Most important, he handles the discussion in a clear and balanced manner. Using new data sets from many countries, Blais concludes that while rational choice is an important tool-even when it doesnrsquo;t work-its empirical contribution to understanding why people vote is quite limited. Whether one supports rational choice theory or opposes it, Blaisrsquo;s evenhanded and timely analysis will certainly be of interest, and is well-suited for advanced undergraduate and graduate-level classes.

Andr� Blais is Professor of Political Science and Canada Research Chair in Electoral Studies at the Universit� de Montr�al.

Preface and Acknowledgments
Introduction. Is It Rational to Vote?
When and Where Are People More Likely to Vote?
Who Votes?
Do People Believe That Their Vote Could Be Decisive?
What Is the Cost of Voting?
Is It a Duty to Vote?
Do People Free Ride?
Conclusion: Rational Choice and Voting
Democratic Elections, 1972-95, and Participation Rate
Variables, Indicators, and Sources
1993 Study of Electoral Participation among University Students: Research Design
1993 Study of Electoral Participation among University Students: Question Wording
CSES Data, 1996-2000: Description of Variables
1995 Study by Thalheimer on the Importance of P in the Decision to Turn Out: Question Wording
1995 Quebec Referendum Study: Question Wording
1996 British Columbia Election Study: Question Wording
1996 Blais and Thalheimer Study on Reasons for Voting: Question Wording
Notes
References
Index

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