Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/173040
Authors: 
Gäbler, Stefanie
Potrafke, Niklas
Rösel, Felix
Year of Publication: 
2017
Series/Report no.: 
CESifo Working Paper 6764
Abstract: 
We examine whether compulsory voting influences habit-formation in voting. In Austria, some states temporarily introduced compulsory voting in national elections. We exploit border municipalities across two states that differ in compulsory voting legislation using a difference-in-differences and a difference-in-discontinuity approach. We investigate the long-term effects of compulsory voting on voter turnout, invalid votes and vote shares for left-wing and right-wing parties. The results show that compulsory voting increased voter turnout by 3.4 percentage points. When compulsory voting was abolished, voter turnout, however, returned to the pre-compulsory voting level. The results also do not suggest that compulsory voting influenced invalid votes and vote shares of left-wing and right-wing parties asymmetrically. We conclude that compulsory voting was not habit-forming.
Subjects: 
compulsory voting
voter turnout
party vote shares
difference-in-discontinuity design
habit-formation
Austria
JEL: 
D72
P10
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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