Compulsory Voting, Turnout, and Government Spending: Evidence from Austria
Gianmarco León-Ciliotta () and
No 22221, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc
We study a unique quasi-experiment in Austria, where compulsory voting laws are changed across Austria's nine states at different times. Analyzing state and national elections from 1949-2010, we show that compulsory voting laws with weakly enforced fines increase turnout by roughly 10 percentage points. However, we find no evidence that this change in turnout affected government spending patterns (in levels or composition) or electoral outcomes. Individual-level data on turnout and political preferences suggest these results occur because individuals swayed to vote due to compulsory voting are more likely to be non-partisan, have low interest in politics, and be uninformed.
JEL-codes: D72 H10 P16 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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Published as Hoffman, Mitchell & León, Gianmarco & Lombardi, María, 2017. "Compulsory voting, turnout, and government spending: Evidence from Austria," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 145(C), pages 103-115.
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Journal Article: Compulsory voting, turnout, and government spending: Evidence from Austria (2017)
Working Paper: Compulsory Voting, Turnout, and Government Spending: Evidence from Austria (2015)
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