Increasing the attractiveness of voting is often seen as a remedy for unequal participation and the influence of special-interest groups on public policy. However, lower voting costs may also bring less informed citizens to the poll, thereby inviting efforts to sway these voters. We substantiate this argument in a probabilistic voting model with campaign contributions. In an empirical analysis for the 26 Swiss cantons, we find that lower voting costs due to postal voting are related to higher turnout, lower average education and political knowledge of participants as well as lower government welfare expenditures and lower business taxation. (JEL D72, H25, H75, I20, I38)
Hodler, Roland, Simon Luechinger, and Alois Stutzer.
"The Effects of Voting Costs on the Democratic Process and Public Finances."
American Economic Journal: Economic Policy,
Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
Business Taxes and Subsidies including sales and value-added (VAT)
State and Local Government: Health; Education; Welfare; Public Pensions
Education and Research Institutions: General
Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty: Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs