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Democracy learning, election quality and voter turnout

Democracy learning, election quality and voter turnout Purpose – After two decades of village elections, the quality of village elections, rather than the utility of village elections, becomes the focus of current research. Based on nationally representative data at the village level, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the determinants of voting participation, focussing on the effect of election quality. The findings show that competitiveness, vote buying and manipulation are the key determinants significantly affecting village turnouts. The results are robust to alternative specifications. Design/methodology/approach – As discussed, the authors take three measures for villagers’ willingness to vote, e.g. raw turnout (RT), voluntary turnout (VT) and direct turnout (DT). The authors include four types of elements which affect the willingness to participate, the electoral quality, procedure and implementation, individual rationality, village social structure and villages’ level of modernization. The causal mechanism of elements and turnout can be written as: Turnout= f (election quality and procedure, individual rationality, mobilization structure, modernization). Findings – Competitiveness, vote buying and manipulation affect village turnout at significance level. More competitive elections tend to attract high participation of voting, and the effects on VT are the largest ones in magnitude, comparing with RT and DT, as well as manipulation. Village voters do not like to be fooled by nominal voting. If they recognize that elections are likely to be manipulated by township government, the turnout rates drop drastically. The effect associated with manipulation is larger than those associated with competitiveness and vote buying, indicating intervention from up-level government might block the improving process of election massively. Originality/value – It is the first paper that address the effect of election quality on vote participation. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png China Agricultural Economic Review Emerald Publishing

Democracy learning, election quality and voter turnout

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
1756-137X
DOI
10.1108/CAER-09-2013-0128
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – After two decades of village elections, the quality of village elections, rather than the utility of village elections, becomes the focus of current research. Based on nationally representative data at the village level, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the determinants of voting participation, focussing on the effect of election quality. The findings show that competitiveness, vote buying and manipulation are the key determinants significantly affecting village turnouts. The results are robust to alternative specifications. Design/methodology/approach – As discussed, the authors take three measures for villagers’ willingness to vote, e.g. raw turnout (RT), voluntary turnout (VT) and direct turnout (DT). The authors include four types of elements which affect the willingness to participate, the electoral quality, procedure and implementation, individual rationality, village social structure and villages’ level of modernization. The causal mechanism of elements and turnout can be written as: Turnout= f (election quality and procedure, individual rationality, mobilization structure, modernization). Findings – Competitiveness, vote buying and manipulation affect village turnout at significance level. More competitive elections tend to attract high participation of voting, and the effects on VT are the largest ones in magnitude, comparing with RT and DT, as well as manipulation. Village voters do not like to be fooled by nominal voting. If they recognize that elections are likely to be manipulated by township government, the turnout rates drop drastically. The effect associated with manipulation is larger than those associated with competitiveness and vote buying, indicating intervention from up-level government might block the improving process of election massively. Originality/value – It is the first paper that address the effect of election quality on vote participation.

Journal

China Agricultural Economic ReviewEmerald Publishing

Published: Feb 2, 2015

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