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The Power of Parties

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Author Info

  • Jon H. Fiva
  • Olle Folke
  • Rune J. Sørensen

Abstract

As with the market for goods and services, democratic competition involves political parties offering their services (policy programs) to citizen-consumers who vote for their preferred partisan supplier. Little is known about the partial effect of a shift in parties’ seat shares for given voter preferences, particularly in proportional representation systems. We estimate party effects using a regression discontinuity design tailored to proportional systems. Based on rich local government data, the analyses show that parties matter for fiscal policies. A larger left-wing party leads to more property taxation and higher user charges. It also leads to higher spending on child care but less on old-age care. These effects are caused both by changes in the representation of individual parties and by shifts between the party blocs.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2013/wp-cesifo-2013-02/cesifo1_wp4119.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 4119.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4119

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Related research

Keywords: fiscal policy; proportional representation; regression discontinuity design;

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References

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  1. Aaberge, Rolf & Bhuller, Manudeep & Langørgen, Audun & Mogstad, Magne, 2010. "The Distributional Impact of Public Services When Needs Differ," IZA Discussion Papers 4826, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416.
  3. Eggers, Andy & Hainmueller, Jens, 2008. "MPs for Sale? Estimating Returns to Office in Post-War British Politics," MPRA Paper 7892, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Marta Curto-Grau (Universitat de Barcelona) & Albert Sole-Olle (Universitat de Barcelona) & Pilar Sorribas-Navarro(Universitat de Barcelona), 2012. "Partisan targeting of inter-governmental transfers & state interference in local elections: evidence from Spain," Working Papers in Economics 288, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.
  5. Jon H. Fiva & Lars J. Kirkebøen, 2011. "Information Shocks and the Dynamics of the Housing Market," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 113(3), pages 525-552, 09.
  6. Per Pettersson-Lidbom, 2008. "Do Parties Matter for Economic Outcomes? A Regression-Discontinuity Approach," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(5), pages 1037-1056, 09.
  7. Borge, Lars-Erik, 2000. "Charging for public services: the case of utilities in Norwegian local governments," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 703-718, December.
  8. Edward L. Glaeser & Giacomo A. M. Ponzetto & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2004. "Strategic Extremism: Why Republicans and Democrats Divide on Religious Values," NBER Working Papers 10835, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Fiva, Jon H., 2009. "Does welfare policy affect residential choices? An empirical investigation accounting for policy endogeneity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(3-4), pages 529-540, April.
  10. Jørgen Juel Andersen & Jon H. Fiva & Gisle James Natvik, 2010. "Voting when the Stakes are High," CESifo Working Paper Series 3167, CESifo Group Munich.
  11. Edward L. Glaeser & Bryce A. Ward, 2006. "Myths and Realities of American Political Geography," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 119-144, Spring.
  12. Rolf Aaberge & Audun Langørgen & Magne Mogstad & Marit Østensen, 2008. "The Impact of Local Public Services and Geographical Cost of Living Differences on Poverty Estimates," Discussion Papers 551, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
  13. David S. Lee & Thomas Lemieux, 2009. "Regression Discontinuity Designs In Economics," Working Papers 1118, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  14. Tim Besley, 2002. "Political institutions and policy choices: evidence from the United States," IFS Working Papers W02/13, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  15. Jon H. Fiva & Olle Folke, 2011. "Mechanical and Psychological Effects of Electoral Reform," CESifo Working Paper Series 3505, CESifo Group Munich.
  16. Jon Fiva & Jørn Rattsø, 2007. "Local choice of property taxation: evidence from Norway," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 132(3), pages 457-470, September.
  17. Edward L. Glaeser & Bryce A. Ward, 2006. "Myths and Realities of American Political Geography," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2100, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  18. Machin, Stephen & Salvanes, Kjell G., 2010. "Valuing School Quality via a School Choice Reform," IZA Discussion Papers 4719, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  19. Olle Folke, 2010. "Shades of brown and green: Party effects in proportional election systems," Working Papers 2010/25, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  20. Alesina, Alberto, 1988. "Credibility and Policy Convergence in a Two-Party System with Rational Voters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 796-805, September.
  21. Borge, Lars-Erik & Rattso, J.Jorn, 2004. "Income distribution and tax structure: Empirical test of the Meltzer-Richard hypothesis," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 805-826, August.
  22. Borge, Lars-Erik, 1995. " Economic and Political Determinants of Fee Income in Norwegian Local Governments," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 83(3-4), pages 353-73, June.
  23. Glaeser, Edward L. & Ward, Bryce A., 2006. "Myths and Realities of American Political Geography," Working Paper Series rwp06-007, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  24. Borge, Lars-Erik & Sorensen, Rune J, 2002. " Aggregating Spending Preferences: An Empirical Analysis of Party Preferences in Norwegian Local Governments," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 110(3-4), pages 225-43, March.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Gisle James Natvik & Jørgen Juel Andersen & Jon H. Fiva, 2010. "Voting when the stakes are high," Working Paper 2010/15, Norges Bank.
  2. Ade, Florian & Freier, Ronny, 2013. "Divided government versus incumbency externality effect—Quasi-experimental evidence on multiple voting decisions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 1-20.

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