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Voting functions in the EU-15

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This paper examines if the European integration process, by transferring policy instruments to supra-national authorities, has affected voters’ evaluations of governments’ economic performance at electoral periods. The analysis is implemented on a panel of 15 EU countries, from 1970 to 2011. Results suggest that before the Maastricht Treaty, citizens held incumbents responsible for GDP growth, and for the evolution of inflation, particularly when measured relative to the EU average. After the Maastricht Treaty, only fiscal policy variables show up as statistically significant. The capacity to control the budget deficit appears as the main determinant of electoral results, especially during the current economic crisis.

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Paper provided by NIPE - Universidade do Minho in its series NIPE Working Papers with number 16/2012.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:nip:nipewp:16/2012

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Keywords: Vote functions; EU-15; economics; deficits;

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  1. Peltzman, Sam, 1992. "Voters as Fiscal Conservatives," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 327-61, May.
  2. Nannestad, Peter & Paldam, Martin, 1994. " The VP-Function: A Survey of the Literature on Vote and Popularity Functions after 25 Years," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 79(3-4), pages 213-45, June.
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  7. Linda Gonçalves Veiga & Francisco José Veiga, 2006. "Does Opportunism Pay Off?," NIPE Working Papers 5/2006, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
  8. Luís Aguiar-Conraria & Pedro Magalhães, 2010. "Referendum design, quorum rules and turnout," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 144(1), pages 63-81, July.
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  15. Drazen, Allan & Eslava, Marcela, 2010. "Electoral manipulation via voter-friendly spending: Theory and evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 39-52, May.
  16. Sakurai, Sergio N. & Menezes, Naercio A., 2008. "Fiscal policy and reelection in Brazilian municipalities," Insper Working Papers wpe_117, Insper Working Paper, Insper Instituto de Ensino e Pesquisa.
  17. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
  18. Rodrigo Martins & Francisco José Veiga, 2010. "Economic Voting in Portuguese Municipal Elections," NIPE Working Papers 33/2010, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
  19. Brender, Adi, 2003. "The effect of fiscal performance on local government election results in Israel: 1989-1998," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(9-10), pages 2187-2205, September.
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  21. Mark P. Jones & Osvaldo Meloni & Mariano Tommasi, 2012. "Voters as Fiscal Liberals: Incentives and Accountability in Federal Systems," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(2), pages 135-156, 07.
  22. Nannestad, Peter & Paldam, Martin, 1997. "The grievance asymmetry revisited: A micro study of economic voting in Denmark,1986-1992," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 81-99, February.
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