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Direct Democracy and Local Public Finances under Cooperative Federalism

Author

Listed:
  • Zareh Asatryan
  • Thushyanthan Baskaran
  • Theocharis Grigoriadis
  • Friedrich Heinemann

Abstract

In this paper, we exploit the introduction of the right of local initiatives in the German state of Bavaria in 1995 in order to study the fiscal effects of direct democracy. Our identification strategy combines difference‐in‐differences and regression discontinuity methods: we compare municipal expenditure and revenue between pre‐ and post‐reform periods at population thresholds where the signatures needed to launch initiatives and minimum quorum requirements decrease discontinuously (difference‐in‐discontinuities design). The results suggest that stronger direct democratic institutions lead to an expansion of local government size.

Suggested Citation

  • Zareh Asatryan & Thushyanthan Baskaran & Theocharis Grigoriadis & Friedrich Heinemann, 2017. "Direct Democracy and Local Public Finances under Cooperative Federalism," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 119(3), pages 801-820, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:scandj:v:119:y:2017:i:3:p:801-820
    DOI: 10.1111/sjoe.12169
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • H70 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - General

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