Long-run effects of earlier voting eligibility on turnout and political involvement

Jonas Jessen, Daniel Kuehnle, Markus Wagner

Veröffentlichungen: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftArtikelPeer Reviewed


Theories of habit formation and transformative voting posit that voting has long-run consequences for turnout and political involvement, with younger voters possibly experiencing more pronounced effects from earlier eligibility. Long-term evidence of the effects of becoming eligible to vote at a younger age remains scarce. We use rich, long-term panel data from the United Kingdom to examine the effects of earlier voting eligibility on turnout and political involvement. By leveraging the election eligibility cutoff in a regression discontinuity design, our precise estimates document that earlier eligibility results in con-temporaneous increases in several measures of political involvement. However, these short-term effects fade away quickly and do not translate into permanent changes in turnout propensity or political involvement. Our results imply that, in a setting with low institutional barriers to vote, the persistent and transformative effects of being eligible to vote at a younger age are short-lived at most.

Seiten (von - bis)1045-1059
FachzeitschriftJournal of Politics
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - Juli 2024

ÖFOS 2012

  • 506014 Vergleichende Politikwissenschaft