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Effects of social norms and fractionalization on voting behaviour in Japan

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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.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Economics, Seinan Gakuin University, Japan

Publication date: 2011-04-01

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