GET OUT THE (COSTLY) VOTE: INSTITUTIONAL DESIGN FOR GREATER PARTICIPATION

Dino Gerardi, Margaret A. McConnell, Julian Romero, Leeat Yariv

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

We 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. (JEL C92, D72, D02).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1963-1979
Number of pages17
JournalEconomic Inquiry
Volume54
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Economics and Econometrics

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