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The Role of Political Information in Union Certification Elections: Preliminary Evidence from Selected States

Author(s): Michael Toma

Journal: Journal of Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics
ISSN 1690-4532

Volume: 3;
Issue: 6;
Start page: 65;
Date: 2005;
Original page

Keywords: Elections | union | rational | voter | model | certification

This paper focuses a public choice lens on the rationality of voters in U.S. union certification elections in fourteen selected states between 1994 and 2001. These elections are characterized by conditions that are favorable for empirical tests of the rational voter model. The electorates are relatively small, the potential benefits can be significant, and the costs of voting are negligible. The empirical work yields three straightforward results. First, voter participation is negatively related to the size of the electorate. Second, the margin of victory is negatively related to the voter participation rate. Third, as the political climate becomes more liberal, the voter participation rate declines. This suggests that in labor-friendly states, there is less of an incentive to vote either for or against certifying a union to collective bargain on behalf of workers.
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