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On Compulsory Voting and Income Inequality in a Cross-Section of Countries

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  • Alberto Chong

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  • Mauricio Olivera

Abstract

This paper explores the link between compulsory voting and income distribution using a cross-section of countries around the world. Our empirical cross-country analysis for 91 countries during the period 1960-2000 shows that compulsory voting, when enforced strictly, improves income distribution, as measured by the Gini coefficient and the bottom income quintiles of the population. Our findings are robust to changes and additions to our benchmark specification. Since poorer countries suffer from relatively greater income inequality, it might make sense to promote such voting schemes in developing regions such as Latin America. This proposal assumes that bureaucratic costs related with design and implementation are not excessive.

Suggested Citation

  • Alberto Chong & Mauricio Olivera, 2005. "On Compulsory Voting and Income Inequality in a Cross-Section of Countries," Research Department Publications 4413, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:4413
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Ryo Arawatari, 2009. "Informatization, voter turnout and income inequality," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 7(1), pages 29-54, March.

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