Effects of Municipal Mergers on Voter Turnout

Simon Lapointe, Tuukka Saarimaa, Janne Tukiainen
2018 Social Science Research Network  
We study the effects of municipal mergers on voter turnout in a difference-in-differences framework, using data from a wave of municipal mergers in Finland in 2009. Analysing two pre-merger elections and three post-merger elections, spanning a total of 17 years, we find that municipal mergers decrease voter turnout by 4 percentage points in the long run in the relatively small municipalities compared to similar small municipalities that did not merge. As the average turnout rate prior to
more » ... ate prior to merging in this group was around 69%, this is a substantial effect. We also find that virtually nothing happens to turnout in the municipalities that were relatively large within their merger. Furthermore, mergers are associated with a decrease in voters' political efficacy and turnout decreases more in those municipalities that experience larger decreases in efficacy.
doi:10.2139/ssrn.3151251 fatcat:ocmsiqvdbjc55ljupqt3kk3uie