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Determinants of Chilean youth voter registration: Evidence for the Bio Bio region

Acuña, Andres A. (2011): Determinants of Chilean youth voter registration: Evidence for the Bio Bio region.

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Voter registration among youth is a worldwide phenomenon that exhibits a notorious decline over the last two decades. In that regard, this paper presents evidence related to the variables that determine the decision of voter registration among young population from the Biobio region, the second most populated Chilean region. A random-effects Tobit model is estimated using electoral and socioeconomic data from 54 municipalities and 10 planning territories of the Biobio region. The results indicate that the main determinants of voter registration among youth are real income, civic engagement, poverty rate, and ethnic population. In particular, the positive effect of civic-participation rate is higher among male population. The evidence further suggests the existence of a class-biased electorate and an increasing electoral apathy among indigenous people in the Biobio region. Finally, latest elections seemed to encourage a greater political involvement among youth, which outlines a promising scenario for Chilean democracy's legitimacy.

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