Thuisblijven bij verkiezingen in Nederland en de Verenigde Staten


  • Smeenk,Wilma
  • Graaf,Nan Dirk de
  • Ultee,Wout




In this article we address the question of why some people do not vote and others do. We derive our answer from existing theories on the political party that people vote for, if they vote. The likelihood that people vote depends on the norms of the social group to which they belong, and on the degree to which they are integrated in these groups. Hypotheses are tested with a pooled dataset of cross- sectional surveys from the Netherlands (Parliamentary Election Studies) and the United States (General Social Survey). We test the hypothesis that U.S. complex voter registration decreases lowly educated persons' voting chances. By investigating our hypotheses in two different countries, we accomplish a stronger test of our theory. Logistic regression analysis shows that in the United States lower educated people indeed have a lower propensity to vote than in the Netherlands. In both countries people who are lowly educated, low on income, and members of the lower social classes are less inclined to vote. For the U.S., the difference between blacks and whites disappears when education and social class are taken into account. Church attendance and membership of organizations are measures of (high) social integration, that are positively connected to voting chances. The latter reduces the income effect for the Netherlands. Furthermore, the young are more likely to be non-voters. No effect of marital status on voting chances was found. In the Netherlands, opposite religious and economic interests negatively influence the probability to vote; this so-called cross-pressure effect accounts for the social class effect. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]; Copyright of Mens en Maatschappij is the property of Amsterdam University Press and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)

Biografieën auteurs


Graaf,Nan Dirk de