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Seat competitiveness and redistricting: Evidence from voting on municipal mergers

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  • Janne Tukiainen
  • Tuukka Saarimaa
  • Hyytinen
  • Ari

Abstract

We analyze how (anticipated) changes in the competitiveness of the seats of municipal councilors affect their voting behavior over municipal mergers. The competitiveness of the seats changes because the merger changes the composition of political competitors and the number of available seats in the next election. We use this variation for identification and find that the smaller the increase in the competitiveness of a councilor's seat, the more likely he is to vote for the merger. These effects are not related to the behavioral responses of the voters, but arise from the councilors? desire to avoid electoral competition.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Government Institute for Economic Research Finland (VATT) in its series Working Papers with number 38.

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Date of creation: 24 Mar 2013
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Handle: RePEc:fer:wpaper:38

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Keywords: Seat competitiveness; local politics; municipal mergers;

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References

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  1. Coate, Stephen & Knight, Brian, 2007. "Socially Optimal Districting: A Theoretical and Empirical Exploration," Working Papers 07-06, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
  2. Stephen Coate & Michael Conlin, 2004. "A Group Rule–Utilitarian Approach to Voter Turnout: Theory and Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1476-1504, December.
  3. Brian Knight, 2008. "Legislative Representation, Bargaining Power and The Distribution of Federal Funds: Evidence From The Us Congress," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(532), pages 1785-1803, October.
  4. Miceli Thomas J., 1993. "The Decision to Regionalize in the Provision of Education: An Application of the Tiebout Model," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 344-360, May.
  5. Bolton, Patrick & Roland, Gerard, 1997. "The Breakup of Nations: A Political Economy Analysis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1057-90, November.
  6. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
  7. Tuukka Saarimaa & Janne Tukiainen, 2012. "Politics in Coalition Formation of Local Governments," SERC Discussion Papers 0102, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
  8. Jon H. Fiva & Olle Folke, 2011. "Mechanical and Psychological Effects of Electoral Reform," CESifo Working Paper Series 3505, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. Wolfgang Pesendorfer & Faruk Gul, 2007. "Strategic Redistricting," Levine's Bibliography 843644000000000351, UCLA Department of Economics.
  10. Wallace E. Oates, 1999. "An Essay on Fiscal Federalism," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1120-1149, September.
  11. Gordon, Nora & Knight, Brian, 2009. "A spatial merger estimator with an application to school district consolidation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(5-6), pages 752-765, June.
  12. Alberto Alesina & Enrico Spolaore, 1995. "On the Number and Size of Nations," NBER Working Papers 5050, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Olle Folke, 2010. "Shades of brown and green: Party effects in proportional election systems," Working Papers 2010/25, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  14. Ellingsen, Tore, 1998. "Externalities vs internalities: a model of political integration," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 251-268, May.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Janne Tukiainen & Tuukka Saarimaa, 2013. "Common Pool Problems in Voluntary Municipal Mergers," Working Papers 53, Government Institute for Economic Research Finland (VATT).
  2. Kaisa Kotakorpi & Panu Poutvaara & Marko Terviö, 2013. "Returns to Office in National and Local Politics," CESifo Working Paper Series 4542, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Tuukka Saarimaa & Janne Tukiainen, 2013. "Local representation and strategic voting: evidence from electoral boundary reforms," Working Papers 2013/32, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).

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