Exogenous factors that affect the voter's calculus in the rational voter model
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One of the chief assumptions of economic theory is that agents are rational. This is usually regarded as the best predictor of any given economic agents behavior. However, despite this fact, public choice economists have long been puzzled by the fact that every election cycle, millions of voters turn out to participate in a seemingly irrational act: voting. This paper introduces the classic rational voter model, which hinges on an agent only deciding to vote when the agent thinks his or her vote has a chance of affecting the outcome of the election, and proposes an extension of it. When taking these other factors are taken into account, it may actually become rational to vote, thus saving the rational voter model from needing to be discarded. Three past cases are discussed, and an extended rational voter model is proposed that takes these exogenous factors into account.