Explaining Turnout Decline in Post-Communist Countries: The Impact of Migration

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Turnout decline in former communist countries has attracted a great deal of scholarly attention. In this paper, I re-test some of the previous hypotheses on new data and I propose a new hypothesis that considers the impact of external migration. Using multivariate regression models on a dataset of 272 presidential and parliamentary elections held in 30 post-communist countries between 1989 and 2012, I have found strong support for the “migration hypothesis”: other things being equal, an increase of migration rate by 1 percentage point reduces voter turnout by around 0.4 percentage points. Most of the previous hypotheses related to causes of turnout decline are supported too.

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