Is mandatory voting better than voluntary voting?

Stefan Krasa, Mattias K. Polborn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigate the welfare effects of policies that increase voter turnout in costly voting models. In a generalized costly voting model, we show that if the electorate is sufficiently large, then increasing voter turnout is generically efficient. Increasing turnout in small elections is only inefficient if the electorate is evenly divided or if there is already almost complete voter participation. Finally, we argue that the effects underlying our results are robust in a large class of endogenous participation models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-291
Number of pages17
JournalGames and Economic Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 2009


  • Compulsory voting
  • Costly voting
  • Externalities
  • Mandatory voting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics


Dive into the research topics of 'Is mandatory voting better than voluntary voting?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this