Acta Politica

, Volume 53, Issue 2, pp 305–321 | Cite as

Term limits and voter turnout in presidential democracies:an empirical analysis

Original Article

Abstract

This article considers the relationship between term limits and voter turnout in presidential democracies. Based on our analysis of a cross-national dataset of presidential elections held between 1950 and 2004, we find that voter turnout is lower in elections in which term limits prevent an incumbent president from running for office. We further demonstrate that term limits contribute to the sharpest declines in voter turnout among those states at lower levels of relative democratic achievement. We suggest that recent theoretical work on both retrospective voting and clientelism offer plausible explanations for these empirical findings.

Keywords

Term limits Voter turnout Presidential democracies 

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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceTowson UniversityTowsonUSA

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