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Political Institutions, Voter Turnout and Policy Outcomes

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  • Eileen Fumagalli and Gaia Narciso

Abstract

We question whether the impact of constitutions on economic outcomes (Persson and Tabellini, 2004) is direct. We show that voter turnout is a channel through which forms of government affect economic policies. We provide evidence of the existence of two relationships: the first links constitutions to voter turnout; the second connects voter turnout to policy outcomes. Presidential regimes are found to induce less voter participation in national elections. We then analyze the impact of constitutional variables and voter participation in shaping fiscal policies. Forms of governments lose their explanatory power once participation is accounted for. Higher participation induces an increase in government expenditure, total revenues and welfare state spending. We conclude that forms of government affect policy outcomes through electoral participation.

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Paper provided by IIIS in its series The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series with number iiisdp268.

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Date of creation: 14 Nov 2008
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Handle: RePEc:iis:dispap:iiisdp268

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  1. Torsten Persson & Gerard Roland & Guido Tabellini, 2005. "Electoral Rules and Government Spending in Parliamentary Democracies," Levine's Working Paper Archive 784828000000000024, David K. Levine.
  2. Heckman, James J, 1978. "Dummy Endogenous Variables in a Simultaneous Equation System," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(4), pages 931-59, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Revelli, Federico, 2013. "Tax Limits and Local Democracy," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201336, University of Turin.
  2. Christian Ebeke & Thierry Yogo Urbain, 2013. "Working Paper 185 - Remittances and the Voter Turnout in Sub-Saharan Africa: Evidence from Macro and Micro Level Data," Working Paper Series 989, African Development Bank.
  3. Estevan, Fernanda, 2013. "The impact of conditional cash transfers on public education expenditures: A political economy approach," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 268-284.
  4. Aggeborn, Linuz, 2013. "Voter Turnout and the Size of Government," Working Paper Series, Center for Fiscal Studies 2013:14, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  5. Aggeborn, Linuz, 2013. "Voter Turnout and the Size of Government," Working Paper Series 2013:20, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.

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