Beyond rationalization: Voting out of duty or expressing duty after voting?

Carol Galais*, André Blais

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)


It is a standard practice to include a Duty term in explanatory models of turnout. Yet the relationship between duty and voting is not that clear. Does duty really trigger voting or is it the reverse? To address this question, we present cross-lagged panel estimations of the impact of duty on turnout and of turnout on duty with two different datasets: a two-wave panel Canadian survey conducted in 2008 and 2009 and a four-wave Spanish panel conducted between 2010 and 2012. We find evidence that sense of civic duty is a true motivation that affects people’s propensity to vote, even though duty may be reinforced by the act of voting.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)213-229
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Political Science Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016


  • causality
  • Civic duty
  • endogeneity
  • turnout
  • vote


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