Munich Personal RePEc Archive

A Framework for Teaching the Rational Voter Model in Public Choice Courses

Cebula, Richard and Lawson, Luther (2002): A Framework for Teaching the Rational Voter Model in Public Choice Courses. Published in: Journal of Economics and Finance Education , Vol. 3, No. 2 (15. October 2004): pp. 52-58.

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Abstract

This study provides a simple interpretation and extension of the Rational Voter Model (RVM), one which enables students in Public Choice classes to easily understand its application in a real-world context. In doing so, the presentation identifies key aggregate-level economic and non-economic determinants of the expected benefits from voting. This study also provides empirical findings for the period 1960-2000. These findings indicate that the voter participation rate has been positively related to strong public approval or strong public disapproval of the incumbent President. This study also finds that the voter participation rate has been positively impacted by the opportunity to vote in Presidential elections, the Vietnam War, a "too slowly" growing real GDP, and "excessive" inflation. In addition, it is shown that the voter participation rate has been negatively impacted by the public's general dissatisfaction with government.

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