How Effective Are Monetary Incentives to Vote? Evidence from a Nationwide Policy
Luis R. Martínez
- American Economic Journal: Applied Economics (Forthcoming)
We study voters' response to marginal changes to the fine for electoral abstention
in Peru, leveraging variation from a nationwide reform. A smaller fine has a robust,
negative effect on voter turnout, partly through irregular changes in voter registration.
However, representation is largely unaffected, as most of the lost votes are blank or
invalid. We also show that the effect of an exemption from compulsory voting is
substantially larger than that of a full fine reduction, suggesting that non-monetary
incentives are the main drivers behind the effectiveness of compulsory voting.
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