Bertocchi G.; Dimico A.; Lancia F.; Russo A. (2020).
Youth enfranchisement, political responsiveness, and education expenditure: Evidence from the US. American Economic Journal: Economic Policy
Vol. 12 No. 3 August 2020.
We examine the link between the political participation of the young and fiscal policies in the United States. 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 percent increase in youth voter turnout generates a 0.77 percent increase in higher education spending. The results collectively suggest political responsiveness to the needs of the newly enfranchised constituency.