The Economics of Voting: What Do You Mean, My Vote Doesn't Count?

The Economics of Voting: What Do You Mean, My Vote Doesn't Count?

Launch Tool

From EconEdLink, this resource is a lesson in which students explore the costs and benefits associated with voting in national elections from an economics perspective, especially in regards to voters aged 18–20. The lesson specifically explains the concepts of rational apathy, rational ignorance, and expressive voting.

For Educators

First, have students use data from the Statistical Abstract of the United States to find and record the percentage of voters in each age group that voted in the last presidential election. Then hold a class discussion by using questions provided on the website. For assessment, students can take the online quiz provided. The lesson also includes two extension activities—one regarding the Constitution’s 26th Amendment and the other a discussion question (“Why are people aged 65 and older more likely to vote than people aged 18 to 20?”). The teacher version of the lesson is here.

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