Voters Prefer More Qualified Mayors, but Does It Matter for Public Finances?: Evidence for Germany
AbstractThis paper studies the importance of politician's qualification, in terms of education and experience, for fiscal outcomes. The analysis is based on a large panel for 2,031 German municipalities for which we have collected information on municipal budgets as well as the election results and qualification levels of mayoral candidates. We principally use a Regression Discontinuity Design focusing on close elections to estimate causal effects. We find that mayors with prior experience in office indeed tend to reduce the level of local public debt, lower total municipal expenditures and decrease the local taxes. In contrast, the education level of the mayor exerts no significant effects on the overall fiscal performance of the municipality. The results are partly surprising as both education and experience are shown to matter greatly in the electoral success of mayoral candidates.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research in its series Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin with number 1262.
Length: 39 p.
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Mayoral elections; regression discontinuity design; politician's education and experience; fiscal outcomes;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
- H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
- H72 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Budget and Expenditures
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-01-07 (All new papers)
- NEP-CDM-2013-01-07 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-POL-2013-01-07 (Positive Political Economics)
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