Is mandatory voting better than voluntary voting?
We investigate the welfare effects of policies that increase voter turnout in costly voting models. In a generalized costly voting model, we show that if the electorate is sufficiently large, then increasing voter turnout is generically efficient. Increasing turnout in small elections is only inefficient if the electorate is evenly divided or if there is already almost complete voter participation. Finally, we argue that the effects underlying our results are robust in a large class of endogenous participation models.
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