A Caltech Library Service

A Statistical Model of Abstention under Compulsory Voting

Katz, Gabriel (2008) A Statistical Model of Abstention under Compulsory Voting. Social Science Working Paper, 1290. California Institute of Technology , Pasadena, CA. (Unpublished)

[img] PDF (sswp 1290 - Jun. 2008) - Submitted Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


Invalid voting and electoral absenteeism are two important sources of abstention in compulsory voting systems. Previous studies in this area have not considered the correlation between both variables and ignored the compositional nature of the data, potentially leading to unfeasible results and discarding helpful information from an inferential standpoint. In order to overcome these problems, this paper develops a statistical model that accounts for the compositional and hierarchical structure of the data and addresses robustness concerns raised by the use of small samples that are typical in the literature. The model is applied to analyze invalid voting and electoral absenteeism in Brazilian legislative elections between 1945 and 2006 via MCMC simulations. The results show considerable differences in the determinants of both forms of non-voting: while invalid voting was strongly positively related both to political protest and to the existence of important informational barriers to voting, the influence of these variables on absenteeism is less evident. Comparisons based on posterior simulations indicate that the model developed in this paper fits the dataset better than several alternative modeling approaches and leads to different substantive conclusions regarding the effect of different predictors on the both sources of abstention.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Working Paper)
Katz, Gabriel0000-0001-5970-2769
Group:Social Science Working Papers
Series Name:Social Science Working Paper
Issue or Number:1290
Classification Code:JEL: C11,C30
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170727-171149551
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:79519
Deposited By: Jacquelyn Bussone
Deposited On:02 Aug 2017 20:24
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 18:21

Repository Staff Only: item control page