Turnout, political preferences and information: Experimental evidence from Perú
AbstractElectoral institutions that encourage citizens to vote are widely used around the world. Yet little is known about the effects of such institutions on voter participation and the composition of the electorate. In this paper, I combine a field experiment with a change in Peruvian voting laws to identify the effect of monetary (dis-)incentives on voting. Using the random variation in the fine for abstention and an objective measure of turnout at the individual level, I estimate the elasticity of voting with respect to cost to be -0.21. Consistent with the theoretical model presented, the reduction in turnout induced by the reduction in the fine is driven by voters who (i) are in the center of the political spectrum, (ii) are less interested in politics, and (iii) hold less political information. However, voters who respond to changes in the cost of abstention do not have different preferences for policies than those who vote regardless of the cost. Further, involvement in politics, as measured by the decision to acquire political information, seems to be independent of the level of the fine. Additional results indicate that the reduction in the fine does not affect the incidence of vote buying, but increases the price paid for a vote.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in its series Economics Working Papers with number 1364.
Date of creation: Mar 2013
Date of revision:
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Web page: http://www.econ.upf.edu/
Voting Behavior; Incentives to Vote; Public Choice; Perú.;
Other versions of this item:
- Gianmarco León, 2013. "Turnout, Political Preferences and Information: Experimental Evidence from Peru," Working Papers 691, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
- D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
- D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
- O53 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-04-13 (All new papers)
- NEP-CDM-2013-04-13 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-EXP-2013-04-13 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-POL-2013-04-13 (Positive Political Economics)
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