Compulsory Voting, Turnout, and Government Spending: Evidence from Austria

@article{Hoffman2016CompulsoryVT,
  title={Compulsory Voting, Turnout, and Government Spending: Evidence from Austria},
  author={Mitchell Hoffman and Gianmarco Le{\'o}n-Ciliotta and Maria Rosa Lombardi},
  journal={Behavioral \& Experimental Economics eJournal},
  year={2016}
}
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 to 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… Expand
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