Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
Research Institute of Industrial Economics

No 1258: Practice Makes Voters? Effects of Student Mock Elections on Turnout

Richard Öhrvall () and Sven Oskarsson ()
Additional contact information
Richard Öhrvall: Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN), Postal: and Linköping University
Sven Oskarsson: Uppsala University, Postal: and UCLS

Abstract: Student mock elections are carried out in schools around the world in an effort to increase political interest and efficacy among students. There is, however, a lack of research on whether mock elections in schools enhance voter turnout in real elections. In this paper, we examine whether the propensity to vote in Swedish elections is higher among young people who have previously experienced a student mock election. The analysis is based on unique administrative population-wide data on turnout in the Swedish 2010 parliamentary election and the 2009 European Parliament election. Our results show that having experienced a mock election as a student does not increase the likelihood of voting in subsequent real elections. This result holds when we study both short- and long-term effects, and when we divide our sample into different parts depending on their socio-economic status and study each part separately.

Keywords: Political inequality; Student mock elections; Voter turnout; Education

JEL-codes: D10; D72; I24; I28

35 pages, December 18, 2018

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