• Corpus ID: 10665132

Endogenous Institutions: The Origins of Compulsory Voting Laws

  title={Endogenous Institutions: The Origins of Compulsory Voting Laws},
  author={Bonnie M. Meguid and Gretchen Helmke},
Between 1862 and 1998, 20 democracies adopted compulsory voting laws, the majority in Western Europe and Latin America. Although there is a broad literature on the effects of compulsory voting on voter turnout, far less is known about when and why compulsory voting has been adopted. Using an original cross-national dataset on compulsory voting laws combined with in-depth historical analyses of out-of-sample cases, we find evidence that strategic considerations – whether parties believe they… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

Compulsory for Whom? Mandatory Voting and Electoral Participation in Brazil, 1986-2006

  • T. Power
  • Political Science, Economics
  • 2009
Latin America contains roughly half of the world's countries that use compulsory voting, but this electoral institution has received only limited attention from researchers. This article examines the

The Effect of Compulsory Voting on Turnout Stratification Patterns: A Cross-national Analysis

As voter turnout is steadily declining in western democracies, various authors have expressed concern about the stratification in electoral participation that this trend might entail. Some research

Where is the class bias attenuation? The consequences of adopting compulsory voting in Austria-Hungary in 1907

  • K. Kouba
  • Economics
    European Political Science Review
  • 2021
Abstract Adopting compulsory voting (CV) legislation is expected to produce near-universal turnout, which in turn is assumed to iron out class-based differences in political influence and

Essays on political participation and the quality of democracy

In advanced industrial democracies, a substantial number of citizens feel alienated from mainstream politics and political elites. This dissertation analyzes factors that help mitigate two crucial

Compulsory Voting and Dissatisfaction with Democracy

  • Shane P. Singh
  • Political Science
    British Journal of Political Science
  • 2016
Compulsory voting is often linked to pro-democracy orientations in the public. However, there is reason to question the strength and universality of this link. Engaging research on the effects of

Does Voting Have Upstream and Downstream Consequences? Evidence from Compulsory Voting in Brazil

Economists, political scientists, policy-makers, and practitioners have long examined voting: paying a great deal of attention to questions like, “who votes?”, “why do people vote?”, and “how can we

Aid for Our Purposes: Mandatory Voting as Precommitment and Nudge

Mandatory voting has received public and scholarly interest as a solution for problems of unequal representation and policies that advantage the wealthy. Yet some oppose mandatory voting because it

Satisfaction with Democracy in Latin America: Do the Characteristics of the Political System Matter?

This paper analyzes the impact that the rules and characteristics of the political system have on satisfaction with democracy in Latin America. Using individual level survey data provided by



Full Participation: A Comparative Study of Compulsory Voting

Full participation is the first book-length study of compulsory voting to be published in the English language. About a quarter of all democracies in the contemporary world legally oblige their

The more, the better? Counterfactual evidence on the effect of compulsory voting on the consistency of party choice

Compulsory voting (CV) undoubtedly raises electoral turnout. Yet does it also affect individual party choices and aggregate election outcomes? Previous studies have focused on partisan or

Electoral Engineering and Cross-National Turnout Differences: What Role for Compulsory Voting?

  • M. Franklin
  • Political Science
    British Journal of Political Science
  • 1999
Low electoral turnout is often considered to be bad for democracy, whether inherently or because it calls legitimacy into question or because low turnout implies lack of representation of certain

Compulsory voting, turnout and party advantage in Australia∗

Abstract Who votes or does not vote in a voluntary system has long been thought to have distinct benefits for different political parties. High turnout has been seen as aiding parties of the left,

Political Institutions and Voter Turnout in the Industrial Democracies

Differences in voter turnout among industrial democracies are a function of political institutions and electoral law. Specifically, the presence of nationally competitive electoral districts provides

Evaluating compulsory voting : Australia in comparative perspective

Low turnout is a growing concern among the industrial democracies. Compulsory voting has achieved very high turnouts in several countries, but it has been mostly neglected as a solution to the

American Voter Turnout in Comparative Perspective

Despite relatively favorable citizen attitudes, voter turnout in American national elections is far below the average of 80% of the eligible electorate that votes in other industrialized democracies.

Explaining Voter Turnout in Latin America, 1980 to 2000

Previous cross-national research on voter turnout has focused attention primarily on Western industrial democracies, with relatively little attention paid to turnout in developing countries. In this

The impact of party polarization and postmaterialism on voter turnout

. Previous research on voter turnout has concluded that institutional factors such as compulsory voting, registration laws and the degree of disproportionality of the electoral system have a

Compulsory Voting, Invalid Ballots, and Abstention in Brazil

This paper explores the determinants of invalid ballots and abstention in the world's largest electorate subject to compulsory voting. Previous analysts have seen blank and spoiled ballots either as