Research / BFI Working PaperOct 30, 2019

How Effective Are Monetary Incentives to Vote? Evidence from a Nationwide Policy

Mariella Gonzales, Gianmarco León Ciliotta, Luis Martínez

We study voters’ response to marginal changes to the fine for electoral abstention in Peru. A smaller fine lowers voter turnout, but the effect of an exemption from compulsory voting is five times larger than that of a full fine reduction, suggesting that non-monetary incentives are the most relevant aspect of compulsory voting. We show that informational frictions limit adaptation to large-scale regulatory changes, causing our elasticity estimates to be substantially smaller than previous experimental estimates in the same setting. We find a negligible impact on representation, as 86% of the extra votes caused by a larger fine are blank or invalid.

More Research From These Scholars

BFI Working Paper Sep 11, 2023

Dictatorship, Higher Education and Social Mobility

Maria Angélica Bautista, Felipe González, Luis Martínez, Pablo Muñoz, Mounu Prem
Topics:  Development Economics
BFI Working Paper Apr 20, 2021

A Glimpse of Freedom: Allied Occupation and Political Resistance in East Germany

Luis Martínez, Jonas Jessen, Guo Xu
Topics:  Uncategorized
BFI Working Paper Feb 2, 2024

Fiscal Rules, Austerity in Public Administration, and Political Accountability: Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Colombia

Maria Carreri, Luis Martínez
Topics:  Development Economics, Monetary Policy