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Is mandatory voting better than voluntary voting?

  • Krasa, Stefan
  • Polborn, Mattias K.

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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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6WFW-4SS1YCR-1/2/31284ce89dd605e439a492f25760b15c
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Games and Economic Behavior.

Volume (Year): 66 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (May)
Pages: 275-291

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Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:66:y:2009:i:1:p:275-291
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622836

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  1. Matsusaka, John G & Palda, Filip, 1993. " The Downsian Voter Meets the Ecological Fallacy," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 77(4), pages 855-78, December.
  2. Helios Herrera & Cesar Martinelli, 2005. "Group Formation and Voter Participation," Working Papers 0502, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM.
  3. 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.
  4. Myerson, Roger B., 2000. "Large Poisson Games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 7-45, September.
  5. Tilman Borgers, 2004. "Costly Voting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 57-66, March.
  6. Barry Nalebuff & Roni Shachar, 1997. "Follow The Leader: Theory And Evidence On Political Participation," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm57, Yale School of Management.
  7. Colin M. Campbell, 1999. "Large Electorates and Decisive Minorities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(6), pages 1199-1217, December.
  8. Jacob Goeree & Jens Großer, 2007. "Welfare Reducing Polls," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 31(1), pages 51-68, April.
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