Referenda on hosting the Olympics : what drives voter turnout ? / Tobias Streicher, Sascha L. Schmidt, Dominik Schreyer

Streicher, Tobias | Schmidt, Sascha L. | Schreyer, Dominik

Public referenda have recently put an end to the ambitions of several cities to host the Olympic Games. The outcome of referenda depends on two major decisions: a content decision whether to support hosting the Olympics and a turnout decision whether or not to cast a vote. Unlike the content decision, the turnout decision has received little attention in sports economics, even though it can distort the outcome of a referendum, lead to a misrepresentation of minorities, and reduce the acceptance of referendum results. We therefore examine the determinants of turnout at Olympic referenda using a population-representative data set from 12 democratic countries. Our findings suggest a nonlinear and robust relationship between individual support and voter turnout.

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