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Strategic Registration of Voters: The Chilean Case

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  • Giacomo De Luca

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Abstract

In this paper we investigate how the employment relationship, if it implies transfer of rents, may allow employers to control the voting behavior of their workers and lead to strategic registration of voters. This is feasible when individual voting behavior is observable, as in open ballot elections. More easily controlled voters are more likely registered providing an even larger impact of vote controlling on election results. Making individual vote truly secret (for instance with the adoption of a secret ballot) significantly reduces this control. Moreover, we show that as long as electoral districts are heterogeneous enough, i.e., contain also free voters, any attempt to control votes on the basis of district aggregate results is bound to fail. We test the predictions of the model by examining in detail the effects of the introduction of thesecret ballot in Chile in 1958.

Suggested Citation

  • Giacomo De Luca, 2008. "Strategic Registration of Voters: The Chilean Case," CEDI Discussion Paper Series 08-17, Centre for Economic Development and Institutions(CEDI), Brunel University.
  • Handle: RePEc:edb:cedidp:08-17
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    1. Jean-Marie Baland & James A. Robinson, 2008. "Land and Power: Theory and Evidence from Chile," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 1737-1765, December.
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    6. Acemoglu,Daron & Robinson,James A., 2009. "Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521671422, March.
    7. Rajiv Lal, 1990. "Price Promotions: Limiting Competitive Encroachment," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 9(3), pages 247-262.
    8. Joel S. Demski & David E.M. Sappington, 1991. "Resolving Double Moral Hazard Problems with Buyout Agreements," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(2), pages 232-240, Summer.
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