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Effects of municipal mergers on voter turnout

Lapointe, Simon, Saarimaa, Tuukka and Tukiainen, Janne (2018) Effects of municipal mergers on voter turnout. Local Government Studies, 44 (4). pp. 512-530. ISSN 0300-3930

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Identification Number: 10.1080/03003930.2018.1465936


We study the effects of municipal mergers on voter turnout in a difference-in-differences framework, using data from a wave of municipal mergers in Finland in 2009. Analysing two pre-merger elections and three post-merger elections, spanning a total of 17 years, we find that municipal mergers decrease voter turnout by 4 percentage points in the long run in the relatively small municipalities compared to similar small municipalities that did not merge. As the average turnout rate prior to merging in this group was around 69%, this is a substantial effect. We also find that virtually nothing happens to turnout in the municipalities that were relatively large within their merger. Furthermore, mergers are associated with a decrease in voters’ political efficacy and turnout decreases more in those municipalities that experience larger decreases in efficacy

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2018 Informa UK Limited
Divisions: Government
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
J Political Science > JS Local government Municipal government
Date Deposited: 24 May 2018 10:57
Last Modified: 24 May 2024 16:45

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