Voter Turnout and Intergenerational Redistribution

Mardi | 2018-04-24
Salle des thèses 16h – 17h20

Mickael MELKI

Electoral reforms affecting the incentives to vote modify the composition of the electorate, potentially overrepresenting specific interests in policy implementation. Due to the age turnout gap, they may bias intergenerational redistribution in favor of the elderly. We exploit a natural experiment provided by the repeal of mandatory voting in Austria to study how a change in the incentive to vote affects intergenerational redistribution through pro-young public education spending. We find that the reform does not inevitably bias redistribution in favor of the elderly but rather leads to a strong polarization in education policies across municipalities according to their demography.