“Conformism and Turnout” by Massimiliano LANDI
Singapore Management University
This paper proposes a model of turnout in which citizens have a preference for conformism, which adds to the instrumental preference for the electoral outcome. Under this environment multiple equilibria arise, some that generate a (more realistic) high level of turnout, for a wide rage of parameter values. It is also shown that high levels of turnout are robust to the introduction of heterogeneity in the parameter governing the preference for conformism. This model suggests that high turnout is the outcome of a particular coordination among citizens and, therefore, suggests a different perspective in understanding the citizens' decision to vote. Moreover, this set up proposes a theory for the D term used in rational theories of voting to account for high turnout rates.