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date: 29 January 2022

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the relationship between voter turnout and political inequality. It investigates which groups are less (more) likely to vote, whether these groups are less (better) represented in Parliament, and whether their interests and values are less (better) defended in the actual policies that are adopted and implemented by governments. Existing research finds that economically and socially disadvantaged groups are more likely to abstain when voter turnout is low in established democracies. While low voter turnout does not systematically benefit a particular political camp, there is evidence that it produces a bias in public policy and reduces government responsiveness. The chapter concludes by discussing avenues for future research.

Keywords: equality, government responsiveness, public policy, representation, voter turnout

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