American and European political scientists have claimed that subnational elections almost always record lower voter turnout than national elections. In Japan, however, municipal elections often record considerably higher turnout than national elections, particularly in small towns and villages. Institutions, Incentives and Electoral Participation in Japan theoretically and empirically explores this puzzling 'turnout twist' phenomenon from comparative perspectives. Based on the rational-choice approach, the book hypothesizes that relative voter turnout in subnational vs. national elections is determined by the relative magnitudes of how much is at stake ('election significance') and how much votes count ('vote significance') in these elections.

chapter |11 pages

1 Introduction

chapter |15 pages

2 Turnout twist

Higher voter turnout in lower-level elections

chapter |27 pages

4 Three levels of quantitative tests

chapter |10 pages

6 Conclusion