How Effective Are Monetary Incentives to Vote? Evidence From a Nationwide Policy

67 Pages Posted: 5 Jan 2019 Last revised: 30 Oct 2020

See all articles by Mariella Gonzales

Mariella Gonzales

University of Chicago - Harris School of Public Policy

Gianmarco León-Ciliotta

Universitat Pompeu Fabra and Barcelona GSE; Barcelona Graduate School of Economics (Barcelona GSE); Institute for Political Economy and Governance, Barcelona; CEPR

Luis R. Martinez

University of Chicago - Harris School of Public Policy

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 29, 2019

Abstract

We study voters' response to marginal changes to the fine for electoral abstention in Peru, leveraging variation from a nationwide reform. A smaller fine has a robust, negative effect on voter turnout, partly through irregular changes in voter registration. However, representation is largely unaffected, as most of the lost votes are blank or invalid. We also show that the effect of an exemption from compulsory voting is substantially larger than that of a full fine reduction, suggesting that non-monetary incentives are the main drivers behind the effectiveness of compulsory voting.

Keywords: voter turnout, compulsory voting, voter registration, political representation, informational frictions, scale-up

JEL Classification: D72, D78, D83, K16

Suggested Citation

Gonzales, Mariella and León-Ciliotta, Gianmarco and Martinez, Luis, How Effective Are Monetary Incentives to Vote? Evidence From a Nationwide Policy (October 29, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3304894 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3304894

Mariella Gonzales

University of Chicago - Harris School of Public Policy ( email )

1155 East 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/view/mariellagonzales

Gianmarco León-Ciliotta

Universitat Pompeu Fabra and Barcelona GSE ( email )

Ramon Trias Fargas 25-27
Barcelona, 08005
Spain
(+34) 93 542-1757 (Phone)
(+34) 93 542-1746 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/gianmarcoleon/

Barcelona Graduate School of Economics (Barcelona GSE) ( email )

Ramon Trias Fargas 25-27
Barcelona, Catalonia 08014
Spain

Institute for Political Economy and Governance, Barcelona ( email )

Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27
Barcelona, 08005
Spain

CEPR ( email )

London
United Kingdom

Luis Martinez (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Harris School of Public Policy ( email )

1155 East 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

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