Final Blog Post: Voting Behavior Among Young Adults: An Analysis of Youth Voters and how Behavioral Economic Concepts can be Applied to Increase Young Voter Turnout

This experience was grueling at times, but I cannot begin to explain how rewarding it was. When I presented my research, it felt natural and my audience was actually interested in my topic. There are several things I have learned while doing my research. The following are the learning outcomes from my research:

  • Improving my time management skills, since I had to juggle a part-time job, a full course load, and execute steps to further my research.
  • Developing my critical thinking and writing skills by weeding through the past literature on young voting behavior and behavioral economics.
  • Polishing my econometric and STATA application skills to perform my multiple regression analysis.

During this process, I was in constant contact with my mentor and other economic professors at Pace University to ensure I was doing each step correctly. Consolidating and interpreting my data was found to be the most difficult part so that is what I needed the most assistance with. This allowed me to not only gather data for the 2016 presidential election but for prior elections as well so that I could compare the results over time. The literature review was the most time-consuming part, but it helped me discover different factors that affect young voter turnout in the United States and gave me new ideas for variables to include in my paper. For a summary of my research, the following is my abstract:

This research paper examines factors that influence young adult voter behavior during the 2016 presidential election. Data was derived from the Current Population Survey, controlled for individuals ages 18 to 24. The cross-sectional data from the random sample of 8,433 people were then used to estimate the marginal probit regression model that tested certain voting factors’ impact on the probability to vote. Gender, education, race, and age were control variables in the model. The study focuses on different methods of registration, household income, and the duration of residence. The results found that registering to vote via the internet, registration drives, and at school are statistically significant and increase the probability of voting among young people more than other methods. Additionally, I introduce behavioral economic concepts, such as framing, anchoring, herding, etc., that could be applied to certain significant factors to increase young voter turnout. This allows further research to be conducted on the impact behavioral economics could have when targeting significant voting behavior factors.

Since behavioral economics is a relatively new field, there was a huge gap in studies done between economics and young voter behavior. The largest thing I have accomplished was shrinking that gap to allow for further research to be conducted.

To see a copy of my full paper in its entirety, follow this link: ECO 400_ Final Paper-1qwxxqw.

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