DOES COMPULSORY VOTING HELP EQUALIZE INCOMES?
Article first published online: 17 JUL 2008
© 2008 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2008 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Economics & Politics
Volume 20, Issue 3, pages 391–415, November 2008
How to Cite
CHONG, A. and OLIVERA, M. (2008), DOES COMPULSORY VOTING HELP EQUALIZE INCOMES?. Economics & Politics, 20: 391–415. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-0343.2008.00336.x
- Issue published online: 13 OCT 2008
- Article first published online: 17 JUL 2008
This paper explores the link between compulsory voting and income distribution using a cross-section of countries around the world. Our empirical cross-country analysis for 91 countries during the period 1960–2000 shows that when compulsory voting can be strongly enforced the distribution of income improves as measured by the Gini coefficient and the bottom income quintiles of the population. Our findings are robust to changes and additions to our benchmark specification. Because poorer countries are the ones with relatively more unequal distribution of income it might make sense to promote such voting schemes in developing regions, such as Latin America. This, under the assumption that bureaucratic costs related with design and implementation are not excessive.