Democracy with group identity

Arye L. Hillman, Kfir Metsuyanim, Niklas Potrafke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Group-based identity undermines democracy by impeding democratic change of government. A substantial literature has therefore studied how to make democracy consistent with group identity. We contribute to this literature by introducing the role of group decisiveness into voting incentives and mobilization of voters. In the elections that we study, for the same populations, accounting for income and other influences, group identity increased voter turnout on average by some 8 percentage points in local elections and decreased voter turnout by some 20 percentage points in national elections. We empirically investigate the effect of group identity on voter turnout and also evaluate whether group identity resulted in budgetary imbalance or replacement of local government because of dysfunctionality. Our contribution is to show how democracy can persist with group identity, although democracy in such instances differs from usual political competition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)274-287
Number of pages14
JournalEuropean Journal of Political Economy
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier B.V..


  • Arab Spring
  • Expressive voting
  • Instrumental voting
  • Local government
  • Voter decisiveness
  • Voting turnout


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