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