JEL Classification D72 & H30

Francis O'Toole and Eric Strobl

Department of Economics, Trinity College, Dublin 2, Ireland


In a recent issue of Economics and Politics Crain and Leonard (1993) described the effects of compulsory voting on government spending. The purpose of this paper is twofold. First, problems in Crain and Leonard's approach are identified. Their use of the median-voter model appears inconsistent and their choice of government consumption rather than government expenditure is questionable. Second, this paper begins an analysis of the composition of government expenditure. Cross-country data tentatively suggests that non-voters benefit relative to voters from government expenditure on health, housing and transfer payments while voters benefit from government expenditure on defense and economic services.

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