Buying Voters: the Effect of Financial Incentives on Intentions to Vote

18 Pages Posted: 16 Jul 2012 Last revised: 30 Aug 2012

Raymond J. La Raja

University of Massachusetts at Amherst - Department of Political Science

Brian F. Schaffner

University of Massachusetts Amherst - Department of Political Science

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: 2012

Abstract

This paper explores whether a voting system that rewards voters with a lottery ticket would boost turnout. Using an experimental design with data from the 2011 Cooperative Congressional Elections Study, it demonstrates that lotteries have the potential to boost turnout significantly for under-represented groups. The study also suggests that lottery systems with numerous winners and moderate payoffs would be more successful than systems with very few winners and large payouts.

Keywords: Turnout, Social Incentives, Voting, Prospect Theory, Representation

Suggested Citation

La Raja, Raymond J. and Schaffner, Brian F., Buying Voters: the Effect of Financial Incentives on Intentions to Vote (2012). APSA 2012 Annual Meeting Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2109019

Raymond J. La Raja (Contact Author)

University of Massachusetts at Amherst - Department of Political Science ( email )

200 Hicks Way, Thompson Hall
Amherst, MA 01003
United States
413.545-6182 (Phone)

Brian F. Schaffner

University of Massachusetts Amherst - Department of Political Science ( email )

Thompson Hall
Amherst, MA 01003
United States

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