“Is civic duty the solution to the paradox of voting?”

Abel François and Olivier Gergaud in Public Choice:

Although sense of civic duty is seen by many scholars as the most obvious solution to the paradox of voting, very few empirical studies provide clear evidence on that motive. We use blood donation to build proxies, focusing only on intrinsic motivations, and then introduce such measures into electoral turnout regressions. Our results show that civic duty has a strong influence on voter turnout rates, confirming that the satisfaction voters receive from voting matters regardless of election outcomes. The results are even stronger when we incorporate the number of plasma and platelet donations, which take more time and require stronger commitments from donors.

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