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The Impact of the Repeat-Voting-Habit Persistence Phenomenon on the Probability of Voting in Presidential Elections

  • Psychology


This study extends the rational voter model to include a composite measure to capture the residual effects of internal, psychological, and/or sociological motivations not previously accounted for in empirical studies of voting in Presidential elections. These motives are referred to here as the ‘‘repeat-voting-habit persistence phenomenon,’’ and may, to a high degree, reflect the impacts of a sense of ‘‘civic duty’’ to vote, as well as what has previously been referred to as ‘‘social conditioning,’’ along with the simple ‘‘habit’’ of voting in Presidential elections. Estimations using data from the 1980 and 1984 Presidential elections strongly suggest that previously unmeasured externally generated and/or internal motives, which we capture in a variable called the repeat-voting-habit (REPVOTHAB), may exert a powerful influence on individual voting behavior. We believe models not including a variable such as REPVOTHAB are subject to specification bias.

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