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How Elections Matter: Theory and Evidence from Environmental Policy

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  • List, John
  • Sturm, Daniel M

Abstract

In this Paper we explore to what extent secondary policy issues are influenced by electoral incentives. We develop a political agency model in which a politician decides on both a frontline policy issue, such as the level of public spending, and a secondary policy issue, such as environmental policy. The model shows under which conditions the incumbent finds it worthwhile to manipulate the secondary policy to attract additional votes to their platform. We test the predictions of the model using state-level panel data on Gubernatorial environmental policy choices over the years 1960-2000. In contrast to the popular view that choices on secondary policy instruments are largely determined by lobbying, we find strong effects of electoral incentives on environmental policy.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 4489.

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Date of creation: Jul 2004
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4489

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Keywords: elections; environmental policy; lobbying; term limits;

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  15. Nicolas Marceau & Michael Smart, 2003. "Corporate Lobbying and Commitment Failure in Capital Taxation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 241-251, March.
  16. Sajal Lahiri & Pascalis Raimondos-Møller, 1999. "Lobbying by Ethnic Groups and Aid Allocation," EPRU Working Paper Series 99-05, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics, revised Oct 2003.
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  18. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1996. "Electoral Competition and Special Interest Politics," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(2), pages 265-86, April.
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