That an overwhelming majority of Taranto citizens did not seize the opportunity provided by the two referenda - poorly set up as they were - to let their opinions known on issues of deep concern for them, as the operation of the steel plant, Ilva, was unexpected, and may cast doubt on their civic awareness. Retrospectively, we may provide an explanation: the fear of losing their industrial jobs may be stronger than the fear for their health and life. To the extent that the mere participation to the referenda was regarded as a threat to the status quo, they chose to abstain. This, as we have seen, is compatible with the hypotheses that their behavior was governed by a mental map in which there was some room for strategic considerations. They may have solved their huge coordination problem by thinking they were each engaged in a small coordination game.
Keywords: Social choice, referenda with multiple options, non-cooperative incomplete information voting games, City of Taranto, Ilva steel mills, Taranto referendum on Ilva.
Jel Code: D72