Does Compulsory Voting Affect How Voters Choose? A Test Using a Combined Conjoint and Regression Discontinuity Analysis
Singh, Shane P. Forthcoming. “Does Compulsory Voting Affect How Voters Choose? A Test Using a Combined Conjoint and Regression Discontinuity Analysis.” Comparative Political Studies.
60 Pages Posted: 15 Mar 2021 Last revised: 10 Nov 2021
Date Written: November 9, 2021
Authors writing since the late 1800s have argued that the requirement to vote can transform citizens, especially by inducing political sophistication. This implies the criteria that compelled voters use to choose between candidates will differ from those who are not obligated to turn out. To test this, I amalgamate a conjoint experiment with a regression discontinuity design, exploiting age-based cutoffs in the application of compulsory voting. This allows me to causally identify the impact of compulsory voting on the attributes individuals take into account when choosing between candidates. While I recover compulsory voting's upward impact on turnout, I find no evidence that compelled and voluntary voters differ in how they select candidates.
Keywords: compulsory voting, conjoint analysis, regression discontinuity analysis
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