Youth Enfranchisement, Political Responsiveness and Education Expenditure: Evidence from the U.S.

67 Pages Posted: 23 Oct 2017

See all articles by Graziella Bertocchi

Graziella Bertocchi

Università di Modena; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Arcangelo Dimico

Queen's University Belfast - Queen's Management School; Queen's University Belfast

Francesco Lancia

University of Salerno; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); University of Naples Federico II - CSEF - Center for Studies in Economics and Finance

Alessia Russo

BI Norwegian Business School

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Abstract

This paper studies the effect of preregistration laws on government spending in the U.S. Preregistration allows young citizens to register before being eligible to vote and has been introduced in different states in different years. Employing a difference-in-differences regression design, we first establish that preregistration shifts state-level government spending toward expenditure on higher education. The magnitude of the increase is larger when political competition is weaker and inequality is higher. Second, we document a positive effect of preregistration on state-provided student aid and its number of recipients by comparing higher education institutions within border-county pairs. Lastly, using individual-level data on voting records, we show that preregistration promotes a de facto youth enfranchisement episode. Consistent with a political economy model of distributive politics, the results collectively suggest strong political responsiveness to the needs of the newly-enfranchised constituent group.

Keywords: education expenditure, political responsiveness, preregistration, voter turnout, youth enfranchisement

JEL Classification: D72, H52, P16

Suggested Citation

Bertocchi, Graziella and Dimico, Arcangelo and Lancia, Francesco and Russo, Alessia, Youth Enfranchisement, Political Responsiveness and Education Expenditure: Evidence from the U.S.. IZA Discussion Paper No. 11082, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3056620

Graziella Bertocchi (Contact Author)

Università di Modena; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF)

Rome, 00187
Italy

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 7 / 9
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Arcangelo Dimico

Queen's University Belfast - Queen's Management School ( email )

Riddel Hall
185 Stranmillis Road
Belfast, BT9 5EE
United Kingdom

Queen's University Belfast ( email )

Francesco Lancia

University of Salerno ( email )

Via Giovanni Paolo II, 132
Fisciano, Salerno 84084
Italy

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

University of Naples Federico II - CSEF - Center for Studies in Economics and Finance ( email )

Via Cintia
Complesso Monte S. Angelo
Naples, Naples 80126
Italy

Alessia Russo

BI Norwegian Business School ( email )

Nydalsveien 37
Oslo, 0442
Norway

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