NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

What, Me Vote?

Richard B. Freeman

NBER Working Paper No. 9896
Issued in August 2003
NBER Program(s):   LS   PE

This paper examines the pattern of change in turnout in elections and in the rate of voting of different socioeconomic groups in the US. It shows that while the changing education and income structure of the population and changes in laws and regulations that make it easier to register and to vote should have raised turnout, the proportion of the voting age population that votes has fallen. This is partly due to the increased proportion of voting age persons who are ineligible to vote, but it is hard to pin down the magnitude of that effect due to problems with data. It also finds that turnout has become much more unequal by age, education, and income.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w9896

Published: Neckerman, Kathryn (ed.) Social Inequality, Vol 1. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2004.

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