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Party cues and yardstick voting

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  • Geys, Benny
  • Vermeir, Jan

Abstract

Politicians within any given party generally exhibit a degree similarity in terms of (political) viewpoints. Moreover, they are often constrained to follow general party lines on certain policy issues. Finally, they may be more likely to mimic one another than politicians from another party. Hence, parties provide important cues on how politicians will act once elected. The present paper assesses the implications of such party cues for the traditional model of yardstick voting (where voters use what they observe in neighbouring jurisdictions to judge the performance of their incumbent). It is shown that the information content of what happens in neighbouring jurisdictions differs depending on whether or not the same party governs this jurisdiction. More specifically, we find that voters might still take neighbouring jurisdictions into account, but should distinguish between jurisdictions where the same or a different party is in power. The results of the model are in line with recent empirical observations in Sweden and the United States. -- Politiker einer beliebigen Partei zeigen gewöhnlich Ähnlichkeiten bezüglich (politischer) Ansichten. Zudem sind sie in bestimmten Politikfeldern oft abhängig von Grundsätzen ihrer Partei. Letztlich übernehmen sie Standpunkte eher untereinander als von Politikern anderer Parteien. Daher liefern Parteien wichtige Hinweise wie Politiker nach ihrer Wahl handeln werden. Das vorliegende Papier beurteilt die Auswirkungen solcher Informationen über die Partei auf das bekannte „Yardstick Voting“ Modell (Wähler nutzen ihre Beobachtungen aus benachbarten Regionen zur Beurteilung ihrer eigenen Regierung). Es wird gezeigt, dass der Informationsgehalt der Ereignisse in Nachbarregionen stark davon abhängt, ob dieselbe Partei die Regierung stellt. Genauer gesagt, Wähler können andere Regionen bei ihren Entscheidungen berücksichtigen, jedoch sollten sie zwischen solchen mit derselben und mit einer anderen Partei in der Regierungsverantwortung differenzieren. Die Ergebnisse des Modells decken sich mit jüngsten Beobachtungen in Schweden und den Vereinigten Staaten.

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Paper provided by Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) in its series Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Processes and Governance with number SP II 2008-05.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbmpg:spii200805

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Keywords: Yardstick voting; spatial interaction; party labels; party cues;

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Cited by:
  1. Claudio Parés, 2010. "Political Careers Concerns and Political Parties," Working Papers, Departamento de Economía, Universidad de Concepción 02-2010, Departamento de Economía, Universidad de Concepción.
  2. Raffaella Santolini, 2009. "The political trend in local government tax setting," Public Choice, Springer, Springer, vol. 139(1), pages 125-134, April.
  3. Aron Kiss, 2011. "Divisive Politics and Accountability," IEHAS Discussion Papers, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences 1115, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
  4. Laurent Van Malderen & Marcel Gérard, 2012. "Tax Interaction Among Walloon Municipalities: Is There Room For Partisan Monopoly Effect?," ERSA conference papers ersa12p1051, European Regional Science Association.
  5. Pierre Salmon, 2013. "Horizontal competition in multilevel governmental settings," Working Papers hal-00830876, HAL.
  6. Marcel Gérard & Laurent van Malderen, 2012. "Tax Interaction among Walloon Municipalities: Is there Room for Yardstick Competition, Intellectual Trend and Partisan Monopoly Effect?," CESifo Working Paper Series 4025, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Geys, Benny, 2012. "Success and failure in electoral competition: Selective issue emphasis under incomplete issue ownership," Discussion Papers, Research Professorship & Project "The Future of Fiscal Federalism" SP II 2012-102, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  8. Raffaella Santolini, 2008. "A spatial cross-sectional analysis of political trends in Italian municipalities," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 87(3), pages 431-451, 08.

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