Open Access

Forget about voting, we are going on vacation! Examining the effect of school holidays on turnout


Media and politicians widely debate the relationship between holidays and political participation, but research in the field is underdeveloped. To test the impact of holidays on election turnout, we use a natural experimental setting in general elections in Slovakia with respect to the presence of holidays near election day. More specifically, while a part of the country had no holidays, other regions either experienced holidays for the first time or had the holiday in a repeated manner. The results from difference--in-differences and OLS regressions employed in the analysis show that experiencing a holiday near election day decreases electoral turnout. However, this negative effect of holidays on turnout is found to be significant only in territories that experienced holidays for the first time, while it is absent in territories that had holidays near elections repeatedly. This finding points to a potential habituation of the electorate and the holidays’ influence in the long run. The paper thus contributes to our understanding of how different time aspects of holidays affect electoral turnout.

Publication timeframe:
2 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Social Sciences, Political Science, other, International Relations