DP12332 Youth Enfranchisement, Political Responsiveness, and Education Expenditure: Evidence from the U.S.

Author(s): Graziella Bertocchi, Arcangelo Dimico, Francesco Lancia, Alessia Russo
Publication Date: September 2017
Date Revised: April 2019
Keyword(s): Higher Education Expenditure, Political Responsiveness, Preregistration, Voter turnout, Youth Enfranchisement
JEL(s): D72, H52, P16
Programme Areas: Public Economics, Macroeconomics and Growth
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=12332

We examine the link between the political participation of the young and fiscal policies in the U.S. The focus is on preregistration laws, which allow the young to register before being eligible to vote. We document that preregistration promotes a de facto youth enfranchisement episode. Moreover, we establish that preregistration shifts state government spending toward higher education, the type of spending for which the young have the strongest preference. The increase in state financial support for higher education is confirmed at the higher education institution level. The results collectively suggest political responsiveness to the needs of the newly enfranchised constituency.