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Ideology and cultural policy

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  • Niklas Potrafke

Abstract

By examining voting behavior in a referendum on the construction of a concert hall in Germany, I show that political ideology influences cultural policy. The results suggest that resistance to the concert hall was particularly strong in electoral districts in which majorities of citizens vote for the social democrats. By contrast, constituents of rightwing parties voted more in favor of the project. This voting pattern indicates that cultural policy is ideologyinduced. The direct-democratic vote against the concert hall is not in line with the voting behavior of the representatives in the city council. My findings thus show that the voting behavior of political representatives may be decoupled from the preferences of their constituents even in closely knit jurisdictions in which the principal-agent relationship between voters and representatives is usually thought to favor the principals. Moreover, this decoupling has been documented for a policy issue that does not require substantial information or specialized knowledge to be evaluated but rather voters' decisions are based on ideological convictions.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz in its series TWI Research Paper Series with number 49.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:twi:respas:0049

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Keywords: cultural policy; ideology; partisan politics; referendum; direct democracy;

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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Ideologisk dissonans – et tysk eksempel fra kulturpolitik
    by Christian Bjørnskov in Punditokraterne on 2010-07-22 09:20:14
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Cited by:
  1. Niklas Potrafke, 2010. "Does government ideology influence budget composition? Empirical evidence from OECD countries," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2010-16, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
  2. Lars Håkonsen & Knut Løyland, 2013. "Local government allocation of cultural services," ACEI Working Paper Series AWP-06-2013, the Association for Cultural Economics International, revised Oct 2013.
  3. Christian Bjørnskov & Niklas Potrafke, 2009. "Political ideology and economic freedom across Canadian provinces," Working Papers CEB, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles 09-054.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  4. Bernardino Benito & Francisco Bastida & Cristina Vicente, 2013. "Municipal elections and cultural expenditure," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 37(1), pages 3-32, February.
  5. Potrafke, Niklas, 2009. "Political cycles and economic performance in OECD countries: empirical evidence from 1951-2006," MPRA Paper 23751, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Potrafke, Niklas, 2010. "The growth of public health expenditures in OECD countries: Do government ideology and electoral motives matter?," Munich Reprints in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics 19280, University of Munich, Department of Economics.

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