Place of residence

Looking at the last demographic variable, I consider the individual place of residence (i.e. the distinction between rural and urban voters). Earlier studies, at least in the context of established democracies, suggest that citizens in rural areas were historically more likely to engage in electoral politics as a result of the higher level of associational or informal network.15 However, a survey of recent studies, in Western democracies, indicates that scholars are still undecided if rural or urban voters tend to participate more. For example, Karp et al. (2007) argue voters in urban or cites will be more likely to engage since they are more attractive locations for parties to canvass. On the other hand, Hoft'mann-Martinot (1994) refutes the idea that turnout will be higher in urban or cities centres by arguing that urbanisation tends to reduce interpersonal bond and social networks thus making it less likely for people to participate. To my knowledge, although the effect of rural and urban divide has not been thoroughly examined in the context of newer consolidated democracies, yet in a study that focuses on the determinants of non-voting across new democracies in Central/Eastern European countries and sub-Saharan Africa, Tambe (2018b) provides evidence that depicts non-voters were mostly those in urban or cities areas. Similarly, in a stimulating study of individual-level voting in Latin America, Carreras and Castaneda-Angarita (2014, p. 1092) reveal that place of residence tends to influence electoral behaviour, with Latin Americans who live in urban areas being less likely to vote compared to rural dwellers.16 Turning our focus on the East Asia region, individual studies (i.e. Mo, Brady, and Ru, 1991) and comparative studies (Bratton et al., 2010) conclude that rural voters are more likely to participate compared to the urban dwellers. Based on this initial finding, I would expect voters in rural areas will be more likely to participate than urban/city dwellers.

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