ARCHIVED: Politics faculty member Sam Abrams writes on informal social networks and voter turnout in The British Journal of Political Science

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The research of Politics faculty member Sam Abrams, along with co-authors Torben Iversen of Harvard and David Soskice of Duke and Nuffield College, Oxford, appears in the current issue of The British Journal of Political Science in an article entitled “Informal Social Networks and Rational Voting.” While their argument incorporates game theory and strategic complementarities, and is thus challenging to briefly summarize, the essential hypothesis is a simple one:  Individuals vote if their informal networks of family and friends attach importance to voting. Voting thus leads to social approval. And conversely, not voting leads to disapproval.