ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Do Urban Voters in India Vote Less?

The conventional wisdom that urban voters in India vote less, the authors argue, rests on a shaky empirical foundation: they describe the errors and biases associated with three main methods of estimating urban turnout in India, and note that, even when taken at face value, these measures tell us only about metropolitan India, but not about small towns. Then, they use new data to argue that urbanisation in parliamentary elections since at least 1980 is associated, other things being equal, with lower turnout within but not across states, and that within states, this negative relationship holds for the smaller towns as well as metropolitan cities since at least 1989.

An Appendix to the text is available on the EPW website. We are grateful to Adam Auerbach for generously sharing his data, to Adam Auerbach, Anjali Bohlken, Poulomi Chakravarti and Francesca Jensenius for their thoughtful comments and Himanshu Mistry of NYU's Data Services for expert GIS advice. Needless to say, any errors are our own.

By Al Jazeera English [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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