The study of voting behaviour remains a vibrant sub-discipline of political science. The Handbook of Electoral Behaviour is an authoritative and wide ranging survey of this dynamic field, drawing together a team of the world's leading scholars to provide a state-of-the-art review that sets the agenda for future study. Taking an interdisciplinary approach and focusing on a range of countries, the handbook is composed of eight parts. The first five cover the principal theoretical paradigms, establishing the state of the art in their conceptualisation and application, and followed by chapters on their specific challenges and innovative applications in contemporary voting studies. The remaining three parts explore elements of the voting process to understand their different effects on vote outcomes. The SAGE Handbook of Electoral Behaviour is an essential benchmark publication for advanced students, researchers and practitioners in the fields of politics, sociology, psychology and research methods.
Chapter 7: Age and Voting
Age and Voting
Within the field of electoral behaviour, there are few variables that are as consistently found to affect different aspects of voting as age. First, citizens’ age is found to affect the probability that they turn out to vote on Election Day. The very first scholars conducting election studies already observed a curvilinear relationship between age and turnout. This observation, of young voters being more likely to abstain and the probability of turning out to vote decreasing somewhat in old age, has since been confirmed in a large and growing number of studies (Bhatti and Hansen, 2012; Blais et al., 2004; Konzelmann et al., 2012; Leighley and Nagler, 2014; Wass, 2007; Wolfinger and Rosenstone, ...