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Compulsory Voting, Voter Turnout and Asymmetrical Habit-formation

Stefanie Gäbler (), Niklas Potrafke () and Felix Rösel
Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: Felix Roesel ()

No 6764, CESifo Working Paper Series from CESifo

Abstract: We examine whether compulsory voting influences habit-formation in voting. In Austria, some states temporarily introduced compulsory voting in national elections. We exploit border municipalities across two states that differ in compulsory voting legislation using a difference-in-differences and a difference-in-discontinuity approach. We investigate the long-term effects of compulsory voting on voter turnout, invalid votes and vote shares for left-wing and right-wing parties. The results show that compulsory voting increased voter turnout by 3.4 percentage points. When compulsory voting was abolished, voter turnout, however, returned to the pre-compulsory voting level. The results also do not suggest that compulsory voting influenced invalid votes and vote shares of left-wing and right-wing parties asymmetrically. We conclude that compulsory voting was not habit-forming.

Keywords: compulsory voting; voter turnout; party vote shares; difference-in-discontinuity design; habit-formation; Austria (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D72 P10 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm and nep-pol
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (5) Track citations by RSS feed

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