When Can We Trust Population Thresholds in Regression Discontinuity Designs?
AbstractA recent literature has used variation just around deterministic legislative population thresholds to identify the causal effects of institutional changes. This paper reviews the use of regression discontinuity designs using such population thresholds. Our concern involves three arguments: (1) simultaneous exogenous (co-)treatment, (2) simultaneous endogenous choices and (3) manipulation and precise control over population measures. Revisiting the study by Egger and Koethenbuerger (2010), who analyse the relationship between council size and government spending, we present new evidence that these three concerns do matter for causal analysis. Our results suggest that empirical designs using population thresholds are only to be used with utmost care and confidence in the precise institutional setting.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research in its series Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin with number 1136.
Length: 27 p.
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Regression discontinuity design; population thresholds; local elections; government spending;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- C2 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables
- D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
- H7 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2011-07-21 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEM-2011-07-21 (Demographic Economics)
- NEP-ECM-2011-07-21 (Econometrics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Messner, Matthias & Polborn, Mattias K., 2004.
Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 88(12), pages 2423-2445, December.
- Gagliarducci, Stefano & Nannicini, Tommaso, 2009.
"Do Better Paid Politicians Perform Better? Disentangling Incentives from Selection,"
IZA Discussion Papers
4400, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Stefano Gagliarducci & Tommaso Nannicini, 2013. "Do Better Paid Politicians Perform Better? Disentangling Incentives From Selection," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 369-398, 04.
- Stefano Gagliarducci & Tommaso Nannicini, 2010. "Do Better Paid Politicians Perform Better? Disentangling Incentives from Selection," CEIS Research Paper 162, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 28 May 2010.
- 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.
- Frederico Finan & Claudio Ferraz, 2009.
"Motivating Politicians: The Impacts of Monetary Incentives on Quality and Performance,"
- Ferraz, Claudio & Finan, Frederico S., 2008. "Motivating Politicians: The Impacts of Monetary Incentives on Quality and Performance," IZA Discussion Papers 3411, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Claudio Ferraz & Frederico Finan, 2009. "Motivating Politicians: The Impacts of Monetary Incentives on Quality and Performance," NBER Working Papers 14906, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Stephan Litschig & Kevin Morrison, 2010. "Government spending and re-election: Quasi-experimental evidence from Brazilian municipalities," Economics Working Papers 1233, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jun 2012.
- 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.
- 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.
- Per Pettersson-Lidbom, 2004.
"Does the Size of the Legislature Affect the Size of Government? Evidence from Two Natural Experiments,"
350, Government Institute for Economic Research Finland (VATT).
- Pettersson-Lidbom, Per, 2012. "Does the size of the legislature affect the size of government? Evidence from two natural experiments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(3), pages 269-278.
- Romer, Thomas & Rosenthal, Howard & Munley, Vincent G., 1992. "Economic incentives and political institutions: Spending and voting in school budget referenda," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 1-33, October.
- Peter Egger & Marko Koethenbuerger, 2010.
"Government Spending and Legislative Organization: Quasi-experimental Evidence from Germany,"
American Economic Journal: Applied Economics,
American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 200-212, October.
- Peter Egger & Marko Koethenbuerger, 2010. "Government Spending and Legislative Organization: Quasi-experimental evidence from Germany," EPRU Working Paper Series 2010-09, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
- Schaltegger, Christoph A. & Feld, Lars P., 2009. "Do large cabinets favor large governments? Evidence on the fiscal commons problem for Swiss Cantons," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1-2), pages 35-47, February.
- Timothy Besley, 2004. "Joseph Schumpeter Lecture: Paying Politicians: Theory and Evidence," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(2-3), pages 193-215, 04/05.
- Gilligan, Thomas W. & Matsusaka, John G., 2001. "Fiscal Policy, Legislature Size, and Political Parties: Evidence from State and Local Governments in the First Half of the 20th Century," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 54(n. 1), pages 57-82, March Cit.
- Reza Baqir, 2002. "Districting and Government Overspending," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(6), pages 1318-1354, December.
- Randall Holcombe & Lawrence Kenny, 2008. "Does restricting choice in referenda enable governments to spend more?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 136(1), pages 87-101, July.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Bibliothek).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.