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`Can I register to vote before I am 18?'Information Costs and Participation

Author

Listed:
  • Alejandro Corvalan

    () (Facultad de Economía y Empresa, Universidad Diego Portales)

  • Paulo Cox

    () (Banco Central de Chile)

Abstract

Using a natural experiment we identify the e ect of a particular procedural infor- mation cost on electoral registration of young first-time voters. Given that registration closing day is typically before election day, first-time voters who become eligible as they reach the minimum age requirement may face uncertainty on whether this rule is due at either closing day or election day. We argue that this uncertainty generates a discontinuity between individuals turning 18 a day before, and a day after, closing day. We provide empirical evidence of this using registration of Chilean rst-time voters over two decades and across 12 elections. Implementing a sharp regression discontinuity design we estimate that registration decreases about 20% at the cuto-off, causing an average drop of about 10% of turnout of the whole cohort of young first-time voters.

Suggested Citation

  • Alejandro Corvalan & Paulo Cox, 2014. "`Can I register to vote before I am 18?'Information Costs and Participation," Working Papers 60, Facultad de Economía y Empresa, Universidad Diego Portales.
  • Handle: RePEc:ptl:wpaper:60
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    File URL: http://www.udp.cl/descargas/facultades_carreras/economia/pdf/documentos_investigacion/wp_60_Corvalan_Can_register_vote_before_18.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Matthew Rabin & Ted O'Donoghue, 1999. "Doing It Now or Later," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 103-124, March.
    2. Valentino Larcinese, 2007. "Does political knowledge increase turnout? Evidence from the 1997 British general election," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 131(3), pages 387-411, June.
    3. repec:cup:apsrev:v:105:y:2011:i:01:p:115-134_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Feddersen, Timothy J & Pesendorfer, Wolfgang, 1996. "The Swing Voter's Curse," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 408-424, June.
    5. repec:cup:apsrev:v:111:y:2017:i:03:p:584-604_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Imbens, Guido W. & Lemieux, Thomas, 2008. "Regression discontinuity designs: A guide to practice," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 615-635, February.
    7. repec:cup:apsrev:v:72:y:1978:i:01:p:22-45_15 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Knack, Stephen & James, White, 2000. "Election-day registration and turnout inequality," MPRA Paper 27244, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Meredith, Marc, 2009. "Persistence in Political Participation," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 4(3), pages 187-209, October.
    10. Matsusaka, John G, 1995. "Explaining Voter Turnout Patterns: An Information Theory," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 84(1-2), pages 91-117, July.
    11. repec:cup:apsrev:v:92:y:1998:i:01:p:145-158_20 is not listed on IDEAS
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