Is compulsory voting more democratic?
AbstractLijphart (1997) endorses compulsory voting as a means to increase voter turnout. Considering the likely effects of the role of information (including its costs) on the decision to vote and taking an expressive view of voting, however, compels us to investigate two unexamined claims by such advocates: (i) that individuals are transformed by forcing them to vote, and (ii) that a compulsory electoral outcome is a more accurate reflection of community preferences.We argue that compelling those who are not particularly interested in, or informed about, the political process to vote increases the proportion of random votes and we show that under simple majority rule, compulsory voting may violate the Pareto principle; the less popular candidate is more likely to be elected. Our results cast doubt on the ”miracle of aggregation“ argument, which optimistically concludes that as long as uninformed votes are not systematically biased, they will have no effect on voting outcomes. We also briefly consider how information cascades can exacerbate this problem. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2006
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Springer in its journal Public Choice.
Volume (Year): 129 (2006)
Issue (Month): 1 (October)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100332
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Francis O'Toole & Eric Strobl, 1995.
"Compulsory Voting And Government Spending,"
Economics and Politics,
Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(3), pages 271-280, November.
- W. Mark Crain & Mary L. Leonard, 1993. "The Right Versus The Obligation To Vote: Effects On Cross-Country Government Growth," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(1), pages 43-51, 03.
- Matsusaka, John G & Palda, Filip, 1999. " Voter Turnout: How Much Can We Explain?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 98(3-4), pages 431-46, March.
- Dhammika Dharmapala & Filip Palda, 2001.
"Are Campaign Contributions a Form of Speech? Evidence from Recent US House Elections,"
- Dharmapala, Dhammika & Palda, Filip, 2002. " Are Campaign Contributions a Form of Speech? Evidence from Recent US House Elections," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 112(1-2), pages 81-114, July.
- Brennan, Geoffrey & Hamlin, Alan, 1998.
" Expressive Voting and Electoral Equilibrium,"
Springer, vol. 95(1-2), pages 149-75, April.
- Mueller,Dennis C., 2003. "Public Choice III," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521894753, November.
- Sushil Bikhchandani & David Hirshleifer & Ivo Welch, 2010.
"A theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom and cultural change as informational Cascades,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
1193, David K. Levine.
- Bikhchandani, Sushil & Hirshleifer, David & Welch, Ivo, 1992. "A Theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom, and Cultural Change in Informational Cascades," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 992-1026, October.
- Matsusaka, John G, 1995. " Explaining Voter Turnout Patterns: An Information Theory," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 84(1-2), pages 91-117, July.
- Kirman, Alan, 1993. "Ants, Rationality, and Recruitment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(1), pages 137-56, February.
- Blais, Andre & Young, Robert, 1999. " Why Do People Vote? An Experiment in Rationality," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 99(1-2), pages 39-55, April.
- W. Mark Crain, 1995. "The Right Versus The Obligation To Vote: Rejoinder To Yeret, And O'Toole And Strobl," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(3), pages 281-287, November.
- Ashenfelter, Orley C & Kelley, Stanley, Jr, 1975. "Determinants of Participation in Presidential Elections," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 695-733, December.
- Mutascu, Mihai, 2011. "Compulsory voting and tax revenues," MPRA Paper 33987, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Sanne Zwart, 2007. "Fixing the Quorum: Representation versus Abstention," Economics Working Papers ECO2007/07, European University Institute.
- Drosdowski, Thomas, 2006. "On the Link Between Democracy and Environment," Diskussionspapiere der Wirtschaftswissenschaftlichen FakultÃ¤t der Leibniz UniversitÃ¤t Hannover dp-355, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
- ZWART, Sanne, 2007. "Coordination, Expectations and Crises," Economics Dissertations urn:hdl:1814/7767, European University Institute.
- Sanne Zwart, 2010. "Ensuring a representative referendum outcome: the daunting task of setting the quorum right," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 34(4), pages 643-677, April.
- Felix Schlaepfer, 2007.
"Contingent valuation: a new perspective,"
0715, University of Zurich, Socioeconomic Institute.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Guenther Eichhorn) or (Christopher F. Baum).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.