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Quantifying Parliamentary Representation of Constituents' Preferences with Quasi-Experimental Data

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  • David Stadelmann
  • Marco Portmann
  • Reiner Eichenberger

Abstract

We assess the effect of constituents’ preferences on legislators’ decisions within a quasiexperimental setting: In the Swiss referendum process, citizens and legislators reveal their preferences for legislative proposals. We match roll call votes of all Swiss legislators on 102 legislative proposals with revealed constituents’ preferences on exactly the same issues from 1996 to 2008. The setting allows us to quantify the quality of parliamentary representation and we identify conditions which affect convergence between constituents’ preferences and legislators’ decisions. Results show that a legislator’s probability to accept a law proposal increases by 16.8 percentage points when district voters accept the proposal.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA) in its series CREMA Working Paper Series with number 2011-02.

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Date of creation: Jan 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cra:wpaper:2011-02

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Keywords: Political Representation; Constituents’ Preferences; Spatial Voting Models; Referenda;

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References

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  1. Matsusaka, John G., 2010. "Popular Control of Public Policy: A Quantitative Approach," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 5(2), pages 133-167, August.
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  12. Garrett, Thomas A, 1999. "A Test of Shirking under Legislative and Citizen Vote: The Case of State Lottery Adoption," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 42(1), pages 189-208, April.
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  16. Bender, Bruce & Lott, John R, Jr, 1996. " Legislator Voting and Shirking: A Critical Review of the Literature," Public Choice, Springer, Springer, vol. 87(1-2), pages 67-100, April.
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  18. Frey, Bruno S, 1994. "Direct Democracy: Politico-economic Lessons from Swiss Experience," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 338-42, May.
  19. David Stadelmann & Marco Portmann & Reiner Eichenberger, 2012. "Do Female Representatives Adhere More Closely to Citizens’ Preferences Than Male Representatives?," CREMA Working Paper Series, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA) 2012-02, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  20. Lott, John R, Jr & Davis, Michael L, 1992. " A Critical Review and an Extension of the Political Shirking Literature," Public Choice, Springer, Springer, vol. 74(4), pages 461-84, December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Reiner Eichenberger & David Stadelmann & Marco Portmann, 2012. "A comparative analysis of the voting behavior of constituents and their representatives for public debts," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, Springer, vol. 23(3), pages 244-260, September.
  2. David Stadelmann & Reiner Eichenberger & Marco Portmann, 2014. "Voting against the separation of powers between legislature and administration," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, Springer, vol. 25(2), pages 207-229, June.
  3. David Stadelmann & Benno Torgler, 2013. "Bounded Rationality and Voting Decisions Exploring a 160-Year Period," QuBE Working Papers, QUT Business School 005, QUT Business School.
  4. Benno Torgler & David Stadelmann & Marco Portmann, 2013. "The Power of Religious Organizations in Human Decision Processes: Analyzing Voting Behavior," CREMA Working Paper Series, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA) 2013-20, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  5. Stadelmann, David & Portmann, Marco & Eichenberger, Reiner, 2013. "How do Female Preferences Influence Political Decisions by Female and Male Representatives?," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79748, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

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