Separation of Powers and Turnout
30 Pages Posted: 24 Sep 2007
Date Written: April 5, 2007
Do separation of powers systems produce lower levels of voter turnout? We analyze this question by taking advantage of institutional variation across U.S. states. In some states, governors and legislatures share power roughly evenly, which creates a sharing of powers that approximates a classic separation of powers system. In other states, power is unequally distributed, thereby approximating a system in which powers are not shared. We find that turnout is lower in systems in which power is shared equally, indicating that separation of powers does indeed decrease turnout.
Keywords: voter turnout, separation of powers
JEL Classification: H1
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