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The Power of Parties: Evidence from Close Municipal Elections in Norway

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  • Jon H. Fiva
  • Olle Folke
  • Rune J. Sørensen

Abstract

We show that small shifts in representation can affect policy in proportional election systems. Using data from Norway, we find that a larger left‐wing party leads to more property taxation, higher childcare spending, and lower elderly care spending, while local public goods appear to be a non‐partisan issue. These effects are partly due to shifts in bloc majorities, and partly due to changes in the left–right position of the council, keeping the majority constant. The estimates on spending allocations are rather imprecise, but they are consistent with evidence on politicians' fiscal preferences and patterns in media attention.

Suggested Citation

  • Jon H. Fiva & Olle Folke & Rune J. Sørensen, 2018. "The Power of Parties: Evidence from Close Municipal Elections in Norway," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 120(1), pages 3-30, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:scandj:v:120:y:2018:i:1:p:3-30
    DOI: 10.1111/sjoe.12229
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    2. Jo Thori Lind, 2014. "Rainy Day Politics - An Instrumental Variables Approach to the Effect of Parties on Political Outcomes," CESifo Working Paper Series 4911, CESifo.
    3. Benny Geys & Rune J. Sørensen, 2020. "Administrative Delegation of Budgetary Powers and Fiscal Performance," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 73(4), pages 477-499, November.
    4. Gouvêa, Raphael & Girardi, Daniele, 2021. "Partisanship and local fiscal policy: Evidence from Brazilian cities," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 150(C).
    5. Palguta, Ján, 2019. "Political representation and public contracting: Evidence from municipal legislatures," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 411-431.
    6. Lind, Jo Thori, 2020. "Rainy day politics. An instrumental variables approach to the effect of parties on political outcomes," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C).
    7. Jaakko Meriläinen, 2019. "Single‐Party Rule, Public Spending, and Political Rents: Evidence from Finnish Municipalities," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 121(2), pages 736-762, April.
    8. Felipe Carozzi & Davide Cipullo & Luca Repetto, 2019. "Divided They Fall. Fragmented Parliaments and Government Stability," Working Papers wp2019_1911, CEMFI.
    9. Gouvêa, Raphael & Girardi, Daniele, 2021. "Partisanship and local fiscal policy: Evidence from Brazilian cities," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 150(C).
    10. Trude Gunnes & Nina Drange & Kjetil Telle, 2018. "Workload, staff composition, and sickness absence. Findings from employees in child care centers," Discussion Papers 882, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    11. Fiva, Jon H. & Røhr, Helene Lie, 2018. "Climbing the ranks: incumbency effects in party-list systems," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 142-156.

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