Quarterly Journal of Political Science > Vol 17 > Issue 1

Parents, Infants, and Voter Turnout: Evidence from the United States

Angela Cools, Department of Economics, Davidson College, USA, ancools@davidson.edu
 
Suggested Citation
Angela Cools (2022), "Parents, Infants, and Voter Turnout: Evidence from the United States", Quarterly Journal of Political Science: Vol. 17: No. 1. http://dx.doi.org/10.1561/100.00020072

Forthcoming: 31 Jan 2022
© 2021 A. Cools
 
Subjects
 
Keywords
Voter turnoutgender gaplife transitions
 

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In this article:
Introduction 
Theoretical Overview 
Data 
Baseline Results 
State Voting Systems 
Conclusion 
References 

Abstract

Despite evidence that infants affect families’ economic and social behaviors, little is known about how young children influence their parents’ political engagement. I show that U.S. women with an infant during an election year are 3.5 percentage points less likely to vote than women without children; men with an infant are 2.2 percentage points less likely to vote. Suggesting that this effect may be causal, I find no significant decreases in turnout the year before parents have an infant. Using a triple-difference approach, I then show that universal vote-by-mail systems mitigate the negative association between infants and mothers’ turnout.

DOI:10.1561/100.00020072