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Do Politicians’ Preferences Correspond to those of the Voters? An Investigation of Political Representation

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  • Dahlberg, Matz

    ()
    (Department of Economics)

  • Mörk, Eva

    ()
    (Department of Economics)

  • Ågren, Hanna

    (Department of Economics)

Abstract

This paper investigates to what extent voters and politicians have the same preferences for locally provided welfare services. We make use of two different types of survey questionnaires; one directed towards voters and one directed towards politicians. We reach two main conclusions in the paper. First, we find that politicians have preferences for significantly different spending on locally provided welfare services compared to voters. Second, this difference remains even after controlling for politicians and voters having different socio-economic characteristics. For example, when analyzing female representation, we find that female politicians have significantly different preferences for spending than female voters. One implication of the latter result is that an increase in the ratio of female to male politicians may not be the only way to deal with the desire to increase the political representation of women.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Uppsala University, Department of Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 2004:2.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: 20 Jan 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Public Choice, 2006, pages 137-162.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:uunewp:2004_002

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Postal: Department of Economics, Uppsala University, P. O. Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
Phone: + 46 18 471 25 00
Fax: + 46 18 471 14 78
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Web page: http://www.nek.uu.se/
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Keywords: Political representation; local public;

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References

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  1. Alesina, Alberto, 1988. "Credibility and Policy Convergence in a Two-Party System with Rational Voters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 796-805, September.
  2. Ahlin, Åsa & Johansson, Eva, 2001. "Individual demand for local public schooling: Evidence from Swedish survey data," Working Paper Series 2001:1, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  3. Bergstrom, Theodore C & Rubinfeld, Daniel L & Shapiro, Perry, 1982. "Micro-Based Estimates of Demand Functions for Local School Expenditures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1183-1205, September.
  4. Svaleryd, Helena, 2002. "Femal Representation - Is it Important for Policy Decisions?," Research Papers in Economics 2002:7, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  5. Osborne, Martin J & Slivinski, Al, 1996. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(1), pages 65-96, February.
  6. Tim Besley & Stephen Coate, . "An Economic Model of Representative Democracy," Penn CARESS Working Papers ecf70d639d700dba5327ab0c8, Penn Economics Department.
  7. David S. Lee & Enrico Moretti & Matthew J. Butler, 2004. "Do Voters Affect Or Elect Policies? Evidence from the U. S. House," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(3), pages 807-859, August.
  8. Raghabendra Chattopadhyay & Esther Duflo, 2004. "Women as Policy Makers: Evidence from a Randomized Policy Experiment in India," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(5), pages 1409-1443, 09.
  9. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
  10. Pettersson-Lidbom , Per, 2003. "Do Parties Matter for Fiscal Policy Choices? A Regression-Discontinuity Approach," Research Papers in Economics 2003:15, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  11. Timothy Besley & Anne Case, 2003. "Political Institutions and Policy Choices: Evidence from the United States," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(1), pages 7-73, March.
  12. Levitt, Steven D, 1996. "How Do Senators Vote? Disentangling the Role of Voter Preferences, Party Affiliation, and Senate Ideology," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 425-41, June.
  13. Sendhil Mullainathan & Marianne Bertrand, 2001. "Do People Mean What They Say? Implications for Subjective Survey Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 67-72, May.
  14. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 2003. "Centralized versus decentralized provision of local public goods: a political economy approach," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(12), pages 2611-2637, December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Österholm, Pär, 2004. "Estimating the Relationship between Age Structure and GDP in the OECD Using Panel Cointegration Methods," Working Paper Series 2004:13, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  2. Mörk, Eva & Ahlin, Åsa, 2007. "Effects of decentralization on school resources: Sweden 1989-2002," Working Paper Series 2007:9, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  3. Nordin, Mattias, 2009. "The effect of information on voting behavior," Working Paper Series 2009:14, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  4. Aronsson, Thomas & Blomquist, Sören, 2004. "Redistribution and Provision of Public Goods in an Economic Federation," Working Paper Series 2004:4, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  5. Jakobsson, Niklas, 2009. "Why do you want lower taxes? Preferences regarding municipal income tax rates," Working Papers in Economics 345, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  6. Enriqueta Aragonès & Santiago Sánchez-Pagés, 2010. "The Disadvantage of Winning an Election," Working Papers 439, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  7. 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, vol. 23(3), pages 244-260, September.
  8. Revelli Federico & Tovmo Per, 2006. "Declared vs. revealed yardstick competition:Local government efficiency in Norway," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 200605, University of Turin.
  9. Sören Blomquist & Vidar Christiansen, 2008. "Taxation and Heterogeneous Preferences," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 64(2), pages 218-244, June.

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