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Electoral bias and policy choice: theory and evidence

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  • Tim Besley

    ()
    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and London School of Economics)

  • Ian Preston

    ()
    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University College London)

Abstract

This paper develops a new approach to study how electoral bias in favor of one party due to the pattern of districting affects policy choice. We tie a commonly used measure of districting bias to the theory of party competition and show how this affects policy choice in theory. The utility of the approach is illustrated using data on local government in the U.K. The results suggest that reducing electoral bias leads parties to moderate their policies.

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File URL: http://www.ifs.org.uk/wps/wp0603.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for Fiscal Studies in its series IFS Working Papers with number W06/03.

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Length: 41 pp.
Date of creation: Jan 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ifs:ifsewp:06/03

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References

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  1. Timothy Besley & Torsten Persson & Daniel.M Sturm, 2005. "Political competition and economic performance: theory and evidence from the United States," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3770, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Tim Besley & Stephen Coate, . "An Economic Model of Representative Democracy," Penn CARESS Working Papers ecf70d639d700dba5327ab0c8, Penn Economics Department.
  3. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2005. "The Economic Effects of Constitutions," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262661926, December.
  4. 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.
  5. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2002. "Political Economics: Explaining Economic Policy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262661314, December.
  6. Stephen Coate & Brian Knight, 2005. "Socially Optimal Districting," NBER Working Papers 11462, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. 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.
  8. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2004. "Constitutional Rules and Fiscal Policy Outcomes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 25-45, March.
  9. Ron Johnston & Colin Rallings & Michael Thrasher, 2002. "Electoral success, electoral bias, and Labour hegemony: electoral system effects in English metropolitan boroughs," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 34(7), pages 1303-1317, July.
  10. George Stigler, 1972. "Economic competition and political competition," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 91-106, September.
  11. Rogers, Diane Lim & Rogers, John H, 2000. " Political Competition and State Government Size: Do Tighter Elections Produce Looser Budgets?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 105(1-2), pages 1-21, October.
  12. Coate, Stephen & Knight, Brian, 2007. "Socially Optimal Districting: A Theoretical and Empirical Exploration," Working Papers 07-06, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
  13. repec:bla:restud:v:77:y:2010:i:4:p:1329-1352 is not listed on IDEAS
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