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Is mandatory voting better than voluntary voting?

Author

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  • Krasa, Stefan
  • Polborn, Mattias K.

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Krasa, Stefan & Polborn, Mattias K., 2009. "Is mandatory voting better than voluntary voting?," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 275-291, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:66:y:2009:i:1:p:275-291
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Herrera, Helios & Martinelli, Cesar, 2006. "Group formation and voter participation," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, pages 461-487.
    2. Matsusaka, John G & Palda, Filip, 1993. "The Downsian Voter Meets the Ecological Fallacy," Public Choice, Springer, pages 855-878.
    3. Tilman Borgers, 2004. "Costly Voting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 57-66.
    4. Tilman Borgers, 2004. "Costly Voting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 57-66.
    5. Lipman, Barton L. & Wang, Ruqu, 2000. "Switching Costs in Frequently Repeated Games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, pages 149-190.
    6. Myerson, Roger B., 2000. "Large Poisson Games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, pages 7-45.
    7. Barry Nalebuff & Ron Shachar, 1999. "Follow the Leader: Theory and Evidence on Political Participation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 525-547.
    8. repec:cup:apsrev:v:79:y:1985:i:01:p:62-78_22 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Colin M. Campbell, 1999. "Large Electorates and Decisive Minorities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(6), pages 1199-1217, December.
    10. repec:cup:apsrev:v:101:y:2007:i:01:p:143-158_07 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Curtis R. Taylor & Huseyin Yildirim, 2006. "An Analysis of Rational Voting with Private Values and Cost Uncertainty," Levine's Bibliography 321307000000000060, UCLA Department of Economics.
    12. Barry Nalebuff & Ron Shachar, 1999. "Follow the Leader: Theory and Evidence on Political Participation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 525-547.
    13. Jacob Goeree & Jens Großer, 2007. "Welfare Reducing Polls," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), pages 51-68.
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