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External validation of voter turnout models by concealed parameter recovery

Merlo, Antonio and Palfrey, Thomas R. (2018) External validation of voter turnout models by concealed parameter recovery. Public Choice, 176 (1-2). pp. 297-314. ISSN 0048-5829. doi:10.1007/s11127-018-0523-7.

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We conduct a model validation analysis of several behavioral models of voter turnout, using laboratory data. We call our method of model validation concealed parameter recovery, where estimation of a model is done under a veil of ignorance about some of the experimentally controlled parameters—in this case voting costs. We use quantal response equilibrium as the underlying, common structure for estimation, and estimate models of instrumental voting, altruistic voting, expressive voting, and ethical voting. All the models except the ethical voting model recover the concealed parameters reasonably well. We also report the results of a counterfactual analysis based on the recovered parameters, to compare the policy implications of the different models about the cost of a subsidy to increase turnout.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription ItemWorking Paper ReadCube access
Merlo, Antonio0000-0002-4047-5604
Palfrey, Thomas R.0000-0003-0769-8109
Additional Information:© Springer Science+Business Media 2018. Received: 13 October 2017 / Accepted: 21 February 2018 / Published online: 1 March 2018. We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the National Science Foundation (SES-0962802, SES-1426560). We thank the participants at several seminar and conference presentations for their useful comments and suggestions.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Subject Keywords:Voter turnout; Model validation; Concealed parameter recovery; Laboratory experiments
Issue or Number:1-2
Classification Code:JEL: D72; C52; C92
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20180801-164035934
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Official Citation:Merlo, A. & Palfrey, T.R. Public Choice (2018) 176: 297.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:88484
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:02 Aug 2018 14:21
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 00:27

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