Compulsory Voting and Enfranchisement

GT 5.8 Economía Política e Instituciones

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Sesión 1
Día: jueves,21 de septiembre de 2017
Hora: 11:00 a 13:00
Lugar: Seminario 2.2.

In most of the literature on franchise extension whether or not people will turn out to vote once political rights are extended is not considered. However, history indicates that in many cases the decision to expand the franchise and how to do it was influenced by the expected level of participation. In particular, mandatory voting rules were simultaneously discussed and in some instances introduced with the increase of political rights. In this paper we study a possible link between the extension of suffrage and compulsory voting. We propose a model in which although politico-economic elites uniformly dislike redistribution, they differ as regards other economic issues (e.g. trade). Amid this intra-elite conflict, compulsory voting emerges as a tool to mitigate the impact of extended franchise, as a mechanism to generate compromises between the different factions. Hence, the pattern of franchise expansion, in particular whether it will include compulsion or not, depends on the underlying economic structure. We examine whether the predictions of our model are consistent with cross-country variation on franchise extension and compulsory voting adoption.

Palabras clave: comulsory voting, franchise