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Effects of social norms and fractionalization on voting behaviour in Japan

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Abstract:

This article uses prefecture-level panel data from Japan, spanning the period 1989-2003, to examine the influence of social norms and fractionalization on voting behaviour. The key findings obtained from analysis via the fixed effects estimation, which controls for unobserved prefecture-specific fixed effects, are as follows: (1) the voter turnout is higher in close-knit communities, indicating that social norms enhance voting; (2) fractionalization, from both economic and generational standpoints, lowers the voter turnout and (3) a lack of social capital can lead to the distribution of votes being spread thinly among the competing parties.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00036840802600434

Affiliations: Department of Economics, Seinan Gakuin University, Japan

Publication date: April 1, 2011

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