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Divided government versus incumbency externality effect—Quasi-experimental evidence on multiple voting decisions

  • Ade, Florian
  • Freier, Ronny
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    This paper explores the causal relationship between vote outcomes in different elections. We ask: (1) Does the partisan identity of the mayor influence the voter's decision in subsequent town council elections? (2) Do voters condition their vote for the mayor on the result of the last council election? The analysis mainProd. Type: FLPly relies on a regression discontinuity design focusing on close election outcomes based on municipal level data for Germany. We find that the party of the mayor can receive a significant bonus in the next town council election. Moreover, voters punish mayor candidates of parties that performed strongly in earlier council elections. Throughout the paper, we highlight how these findings can be related to an incumbency externality effect and to the theory of divided government.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

    Volume (Year): 64 (2013)
    Issue (Month): C ()
    Pages: 1-20

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:64:y:2013:i:c:p:1-20
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    1. Stefano Gagliarducci & Tommaso Nannicini, 2013. "Do Better Paid Politicians Perform Better? Disentangling Incentives From Selection," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 369-398, 04.
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    5. Ronny Freier, 2011. "Incumbency as the Major Advantage: The Electoral Advantage for Parties of Incumbent Mayors," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1147, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    6. Hahn, Jinyong & Todd, Petra & Van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 2001. "Identification and Estimation of Treatment Effects with a Regression-Discontinuity Design," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(1), pages 201-09, January.
    7. Potrafke, Niklas, 2010. "The growth of public health expenditures in OECD countries: Do government ideology and electoral motives matter?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 797-810, December.
    8. David S. Lee & Enrico Moretti & Matthew J. Butler, 2004. "Do Voters Affect Or Elect Policies? Evidence from the U. S. House," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(3), pages 807-859, August.
    9. Marcos Chamon & João Manoel Pinho de Mello & Sergio Firpo, 2008. "Electoral rules, political competition and fiscal spending : regression discontinuity evidence from Brazilian municipalities," Textos para discussão 559, Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil).
    10. Knack, Steve, 1994. " Does Rain Help the Republicans? Theory and Evidence on Turnout and the Vote," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 79(1-2), pages 187-209, April.
    11. Alesina, Alberto & Rosenthal, Howard, 1996. "A Theory of Divided Government," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1311-41, November.
    12. Ronny Freier & Christian Odendahl, 2012. "Do Absolute Majorities Spend Less?: Evidence from Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1239, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    13. Niklas Potrafke, 2011. "Public Expenditures on Education and Cultural Affairs in the West German States: Does Government Ideology Influence the Budget Composition?," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 12(1), pages 124-145, 02.
    14. McCrary, Justin, 2008. "Manipulation of the running variable in the regression discontinuity design: A density test," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 698-714, February.
    15. Jon H. Fiva & Olle Folke & Rune J. Sørensen, 2013. "The Power of Parties," CESifo Working Paper Series 4119, CESifo Group Munich.
    16. Olle Folke, 2010. "Shades of brown and green: Party effects in proportional election systems," Working Papers 2010/25, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    17. Lee, David S., 2008. "Randomized experiments from non-random selection in U.S. House elections," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 675-697, February.
    18. Per Pettersson-Lidbom, 2008. "Do Parties Matter for Economic Outcomes? A Regression-Discontinuity Approach," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(5), pages 1037-1056, 09.
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