Climate and Electoral Participation: The Effect of Particulate Matter on Election in South Korea

Korean Politics
Electoral Politics
Voting Behaviors

Lee, Chae-Hoon and Sanghoon Park. 2020. “Between a Rock and a Hard Place: International NGOs and the Dual Pressures of Donors and Host Governments.” The Studies of Election 12(1): 732–41.


Political Science, University of South Carolina

Chae-Hoon Lee

Korean Standards Association


June 2020


Does the weather affect elections? How will the weather affect voter participation? This study aims to examine the relationship between weather and elections, especially voting participation. Changes in the climatic environment are factors that have significant influences on collective human behaviors. We expect that the weather on election day, such as precipitation, temperature, and particulate matter, will lead to a systematic change in voter turnout. The empirical results show that the various factors of weather-precipitation, temperature, particulate matter (PM10, PM2.5)—have an effect on the voter turnout. In particular, in election politics of South Korea, precipitation and temperature significantly impede voting participation, but the level of air pollution, which appeared as particulate matter, is different depending on the type of election (the National Assembly elections, presidential elections). At the same time, the results of analyzing the effect of the level of particulate matter on the voter turnout suggest that institutional designs can mitigate the effect of climate on external activities in terms of voting. If voters can vote regardless of the climate of the day of the election, it would be possible to counteract the adverse effects of bad weather on voter turnout.

BibTeX citation

    Author = {Chae-Hoon Lee and Sanghoon Park},
    Journal = {The Studies of Election},
    Number = {1},
    Pages = {77--98},
    Title = {Climate and Electoral Participation: The Effect of Particulate Matter on Election in South Korea},
    Volume = {12},
    Year = {2020}}