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This paper explores the link between compulsory voting and income distribution using a cross-section of countries around the world. Our empirical cross-country analysis for 91 countries during the period 1960-2000 shows that compulsory voting, when enforced strictly, improves income distribution, as measured by the Gini coefficient and the bottom income quintiles of the population. Our findings are robust to changes and additions to our benchmark specification. Since poorer countries suffer from relatively greater income inequality, it might make sense to promote such voting schemes in developing regions such as Latin America. This proposal assumes that bureaucratic costs related with design and implementation are not excessive.
The Gini coefficient of labor earnings in Brazil fell by nearly a fifth between 1995 and 2012, from 0.50 to 0.41. The decline in earnings inequality was even larger by other measures, with the 90-10 percentile ratio falling by almost 40 percent. Although the conventional explanation of a falling education premium did play a role, an RIF regression-based decomposition analysis suggests that the dec ... (View publication)
Do education investments improve regional labor market outcomes? In principle, education could lead to higher local productivity, but potential benefits to local economies could be muted if the educated workers leave in search of better opportunities, or if shifts in the supply of skills outpace demand growth. I use a large program that redistributed public education finance across Brazilian m ... (View publication)
This paper develops a search and matching model where rms and workers are allowed to form matches (jobs) that can be formal or informal. Workers optimally choose the level of schooling acquired before entering the labor market and whether to search for a job as unemployed or as self-employed. Firms optimally decide the formality status of the job and bargain with workers over wages. The resul ... (View publication)
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