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Compulsory Voting and TV News Consumption

Raphael Bruce () and Rafael Lima ()

No 2015_48, Working Papers, Department of Economics from University of São Paulo (FEA-USP)

Abstract: Do people acquire more information when they are encouraged to participate in elections? This paper presents empirical evidence on the effects of compulsory voting laws over the consumption of TV news. In Brazil, the law determines that literate citizens over the age of eighteen are subject to a number of penalties if they don't attend the ballots. This allows us to identify the causal effect of being under a compulsory voting regime on information acquisition. We find that compulsory voting has a significant and substantial positive impact on the probability of an individual to watch Brazil's main TV newscast. Additionally, the effect is stronger for poor voters and for individuals who have neutral evaluations of the incumbent president. Our results are restricted to young voters who just turned eighteen and are robust to different polynomials and bandwidth lengths.

Keywords: Compulsory voting; Information; Media; Brazil. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D72 D83 L82 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015-12-10, Revised 2017-06-12
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cul, nep-lam and nep-pol
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Journal Article: Compulsory voting and TV news consumption (2019) Downloads
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