Paul W. Thurner, Angelika Eymann
Policy-Specific Alienation and Indifference in the Calculus of Voting: A Simultaneous Model of Party Choice and Abstention

Arbeitsbereich II; 18
ISSN: 0948-0080

This article aims to combine the spatial models of candidate/party choice and abstention/participation choice in a single decision model and to provide empirical reaction functions. The starting point of this study is the hypothesis of a sequential ordering of candidate choice and participation choice (Riker/Ordeshook, 1973), which has never been discussed in detail in the literature on economic theory of voting. First, the general features of hierarchical multi-stage decision making are discussed. Then an operational model for party choice and abstention choice is presented. The proposed model is more complete than previous theoretical and empirical studies since 1) it simultaneously considers the choice of n>2 parties and the abstention option; 2) it differentiates between policy-specific effects of alienation and indifference for the first time. The models are estimated with nested multiattributive discrete choice models which are theoretically founded on random utility theory.