We estimate habit formation in voting-the effect of past on current turnout-by exploiting transitory voting cost shocks. Using countylevel data on US presidential elections from 1952-2012, we find that rainfall on current and past election days reduces voter turnout. Our estimates imply that a 1-point decrease in past turnout lowers current turnout by 0.6-1.0 points. Further analyses suggest that habit formation operates by reinforcing the direct consumption value of voting and that our estimates may be amplified by social spillovers.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)