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Divided government versus incumbency externality effect—Quasi-experimental evidence on multiple voting decisions

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  • Ade, Florian
  • Freier, Ronny
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    Abstract

    This paper explores the causal relationship between vote outcomes in different elections. We ask: (1) Does the partisan identity of the mayor influence the voter's decision in subsequent town council elections? (2) Do voters condition their vote for the mayor on the result of the last council election? The analysis mainProd. Type: FLPly relies on a regression discontinuity design focusing on close election outcomes based on municipal level data for Germany. We find that the party of the mayor can receive a significant bonus in the next town council election. Moreover, voters punish mayor candidates of parties that performed strongly in earlier council elections. Throughout the paper, we highlight how these findings can be related to an incumbency externality effect and to the theory of divided government.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

    Volume (Year): 64 (2013)
    Issue (Month): C ()
    Pages: 1-20

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:64:y:2013:i:c:p:1-20

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eer

    Related research

    Keywords: Regression discontinuity design; Municipality data; Local election results; Divided government effect; Incumbency externality effect;

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    1. Lee, David S., 2008. "Randomized experiments from non-random selection in U.S. House elections," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 675-697, February.
    2. Potrafke, Niklas, 2012. "Is German domestic social policy politically controversial?," Munich Reprints in Economics 19274, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    3. Ronny Freier & Christian Odendahl, 2012. "Do Absolute Majorities Spend Less?: Evidence from Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1239, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    4. Stefano Gagliarducci & Tommaso Nannicini, 2008. "Do Better Paid Politicians Perform Better? Disentangling Incentives from Selection," Working Papers 346, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    5. McCrary, Justin, 2008. "Manipulation of the running variable in the regression discontinuity design: A density test," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 698-714, February.
    6. Potrafke, Niklas, 2010. "The growth of public health expenditures in OECD countries: do government ideology and electoral motives matter?," MPRA Paper 24083, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    8. Niklas Potrafke, 2011. "Public Expenditures on Education and Cultural Affairs in the West German States: Does Government Ideology Influence the Budget Composition?," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 12(1), pages 124-145, 02.
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    12. Ronny Freier, 2011. "Incumbency as the Major Advantage: The Electoral Advantage for Parties of Incumbent Mayors," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1147, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    13. Guido Imbens & Karthik Kalyanaraman, 2009. "Optimal Bandwidth Choice for the Regression Discontinuity Estimator," NBER Working Papers 14726, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Olle Folke, 2010. "Shades of brown and green: Party effects in proportional election systems," Working Papers 2010/25, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    15. Hahn, Jinyong & Todd, Petra & Van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 2001. "Identification and Estimation of Treatment Effects with a Regression-Discontinuity Design," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(1), pages 201-09, January.
    16. Knack, Steve, 1994. " Does Rain Help the Republicans? Theory and Evidence on Turnout and the Vote," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 79(1-2), pages 187-209, April.
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