When costly voting is beneficial

Surajeet Chakravarty, Todd R. Kaplan, Gareth Myles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present a costly voting model in which each voter has a private valuation for their preferred outcome of a vote. When there is a zero cost to voting, all voters vote and hence all values are counted equally regardless of how high they may be. By having a cost to voting, only those with high enough values would choose to incur this cost. We show that, by adding this cost, welfare may be enhanced even when the cost of voting is wasteful. Such an effect occurs when there is both a large enough density of voters with low values and the expected value of voters is high enough.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-42
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Public Economics
StatePublished - Nov 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier B.V.


  • Costly voting
  • Externalities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics


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