Veranstaltungen des Instituts für Sozialwissenschaften

Vortrag von Steffen Zittlau

21. Januar 2016, 14:00 , 16:00

Organisator:  Institut Sowi
Ort:  Campus Haarentor, Gebäude A6 4-411

How to increase turnout in low salience elections. Quasi-experimental evidence on the effect of simultaneous second-order elections on political participation


Arndt Leininger, Lukas Rudolph, Steffen Zittlau

Voter turnout in many modern democracies is on the decline, especially in low-salience elections. This is problematic not only for the legitimacy of parliaments, but might lead to biased political representation. We argue that participation can be increased substantially when second-order elections are held concurrently. Leveraging quasi-random variation of local election timing in Germany, we estimate the causal effect of concurrency on European election turnout at around ten percentage points. Exploiting variation in municipality size and competitiveness of local races, we shed light on the mechanism involved: In small municipalities, competitive mayoral races increase European election turnout by up to 25 percentage points. Finally, we argue that under concurrency we can observe turnout levels larger than those obtained in any stand-alone election.