Is Mandatory Voting Better than Voluntary Voting?
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Department of Economics
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)
October 5, 2007
We investigate the welfare effects of policies that increase voter turnout in costly voting models. In a generalized costly voting model, we show that if the electorate is sufficiently large, then increasing voter turnout is generically efficient.
Increasing turnout in small elections is only inefficient if the electorate is evenly divided or if there is already almost complete voter participation.
Finally, we argue that the effects underlying our results are robust in a large class of endogenous participation models.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 27
Keywords: Costly voting, mandatory voting, compulsory voting, externalities
JEL Classification: C70, D72working papers series
Date posted: July 18, 2005 ; Last revised: October 8, 2007
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