GET OUT THE (COSTLY) VOTE: INSTITUTIONAL DESIGN FOR GREATER PARTICIPATION
AffiliationUniversity of Arizona
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CitationGET OUT THE (COSTLY) VOTE: INSTITUTIONAL DESIGN FOR GREATER PARTICIPATION 2016, 54 (4):1963 Economic Inquiry
Rights© 2016 Western Economic Association International
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AbstractWe examine two commonly discussed institutions inducing turnout: abstention penalties ( used in 32 countries) and lotteries rewarding one randomly chosen participant ( as proposed on the 2006 Arizona ballot). We analyze a benchmark model in which voters vary in their information quality and participation is costly. We illustrate that both institutions can improve collective outcomes, though lotteries are a more effective instrument asymptotically. Experimentally, we provide strong evidence for selective participation: lab voters participate more when better informed or when institutionally induced. Lotteries fare better than fines, suggesting that they may be a useful alternative to commonly used compulsory voting schemes.
Note12 month embargo. First available online 20 March 2016
VersionFinal accepted manuscript
SponsorsNational Science Foundation [SES 0551014]