Youth Enfranchisement, Political Responsiveness, and Education Expenditure: Evidence from the U.S.
- American Economic Journal: Economic Policy (Forthcoming)
We examine the link between the political participation of the young and fiscal
policies in the U.S. We generate exogenous variation in participation using the passage
of preregistration laws, which allow the young to register before being eligible
to vote. After documenting that preregistration promotes youth enfranchisement,
we show that preregistration shifts state government spending toward higher education,
the type of spending for which the young have the strongest preference. A
1% increase in youth voter turnout generates a 0:77% increase in higher education
spending. The results collectively suggest political responsiveness to the needs of
the newly enfranchised constituency.
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