Do the Poor Go to the Voting Booths? A Reevaluation of the Socioeconomic Model of Turnout in Established and Emerging Democracies

Irina Natalia Alberro
2007 unpublished
Do the Poor Go to the Voting Booths? A Reevaluation of the Socioeconomic Model of Turnout in Established and Emerging Democracies Irina N. Alberro Studies on consolidated democracies have long concluded that there is a positive relationship between socioeconomic status and turnout. The strength of the empirical findings that linked electoral participation to socioeconomic variables elevated this correlation to a law-like principle and made it possible to assume that this electoral behavior
more » ... toral behavior would prevail in all democracies in the world. This dissertation analyzes the relationship between SES and turnout in the US and Mexico using aggregate data instead of the commonly used public opinion polls and proves that the socioeconomic model of turnout does not hold in the Mexican emerging democracy and that the intensity and direction of the SES model for the US depends heavily on the methodology used for the analysis. In the case of Mexico, since the democratization process started circa 1991, marginalized and impoverished communities have become more dynamic in electoral terms than the more affluent municipalities of the country. The dissertation extensively analyzes the correlation-or lack of-between SES and turnout in Mexico using aggregate data at the municipality level. On the other hand, this work also explores the SES model of turnout for the US combining socioeconomic variables with electoral results at the county level since 1980--instead of relying on the commonly used public opinion polls. The results show that whenever elections are with the difficult task of looking for an academic job and defining a professional future based on my interests. I am especially indebted to Michael Wallerstein who greatly helped define the question addressed in this dissertation. I wish I could have shared the finishing of this work with him. Rest in peace. To Jay McCann for his generosity and willingness to share his time and his knowledge. Although Jay joined my committee late in the process, his understanding of the subject and his energy and dedication proved crucial in the execution of the dissertation. To Ben Page for contributing to this dissertation with his extensive and deep knowledge of American Politics. Thank you very much for sharing your intuition and help elucidate how this dissertation could become a book. For their valuable commentaries, contributions and support, I would like to thank Ben
doi:10.21985/n21m7p fatcat:e6wemct22rfk3e5lswbydozkdu