Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Electoral involvement and appreciation for democracy under a compulsory voting rule

Acuña, Andrés (2013): Electoral involvement and appreciation for democracy under a compulsory voting rule.

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Abstract

This paper proposes a theoretical model for the decision of voter registration, which recovers the classical notion that democracy is a public good. The solution of the citizen's problem implies three types of Nash equilibrium (null, partial, and full enrollment), where the real cost for voter enrollment and appreciation for democracy are the key variables. In the partial-enrollment equilibrium, the citizens' democratic valuation has a threshold that encourages a free-rider behavior even when the homogeneous-citizens assumption is not met. In turn, a policy maker could avoid this threat of representativeness crisis by setting an optimal enrollment cost that depends on electorate size and citizens' heterogeneity. Finally, an empirical model is outlined from the policy maker's problem, which is coherent with classical literature on voting behavior.

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