Youth Enfranchisement, Political Responsiveness, and Education Expenditure: Evidence from the U.S.

Graziella Bertocchi , Arcangelo Dimico, Francesco Lancia, Alessia Russo

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Abstract

We examine the link between the political participation of the young and fiscal policies in the U.S. We generate exogenous variation in participation using the passage of preregistration laws, which allow the young to register before being eligible to vote. After documenting that preregistration promotes youth enfranchisement, we show that preregistration shifts state government spending toward higher education, the type of spending for which the young have the strongest preference. A 1% increase in youth voter turnout generates a 0:77% increase in higher education spending. The results collectively suggest political responsiveness to the needs of the newly enfranchised constituency.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-106
Number of pages31
JournalAmerican Economic Journal: Economic Policy
Volume12
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020

Keywords

  • Education Expenditure, Political Responsiveness, Preregistration, Voter turnout, Youth Enfranchisement.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)

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