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

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  • Ade, Florian
  • Freier, Ronny

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Ade, Florian & Freier, Ronny, 2013. "Divided government versus incumbency externality effect—Quasi-experimental evidence on multiple voting decisions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 1-20.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:64:y:2013:i:c:p:1-20 DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2013.07.002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Ade, Florian & Freier, Ronny & Odendahl, Christian, 2014. "Incumbency effects in government and opposition: Evidence from Germany," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 117-134.
    2. Felix Arnold & Ronny Freier, 2015. "The Partisan Effects of Voter Turnout: How Conservatives Profit from Rainy Election Days," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1463, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    3. Benoît LE MAUX & Kristýna DOSTÁLOVÁ & Antti MOISIO, 2017. "Do political parties matter? Endogenous fragmentation, partisanship, and local public expenditures in Finland," Economics Working Paper from Condorcet Center for political Economy at CREM-CNRS 2017-02-ccr, Condorcet Center for political Economy.
    4. Foremny, Dirk & Freier, Ronny & Moessinger, Marc-Daniel & Yeter, Mustafa, 2014. "Overlapping political budget cycles in the legislative and the executive," ZEW Discussion Papers 14-099, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    5. Benoît LE MAUX & Kristýna DOSTÁLOVÁ & Fabio PADOVANO, 2017. "Ideology and Public Policies: A Quasi-Experimental Test of the Hypothesis that Left-Wing Governments Spend More," Economics Working Paper from Condorcet Center for political Economy at CREM-CNRS 2017-01-ccr, Condorcet Center for political Economy.
    6. Freier, Ronny & Geys, Benny & Holm, Joshua, 2016. "Religious heterogeneity and fiscal policy: Evidence from German reunification," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 1-12.
    7. Kauder, Björn & Björn, Kauder & Niklas, Potrafke & Markus, Reischmann, 2016. "Do politicians gratify core supporters? Evidence from a discretionary grant program," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145509, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    8. Marta Curto‐Grau & Albert Solé‐Ollé & Pilar Sorribas‐Navarro, 2017. "Does electoral competition curb party favoritism?," Working Papers 2017/04, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    9. Oana Borcan, 2016. "The illicit beneficts of local party alignment in national elections," University of East Anglia School of Economics Working Paper Series 2016-10, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
    10. Ronny Freier & Sebastian Thomasius, 2016. "Voters prefer more qualified mayors, but does it matter for public finances? Evidence for Germany," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 23(5), pages 875-910, October.
    11. Kauder, Björn & Potrafke, Niklas & Reischmann, Markus, 2016. "Do politicians reward core supporters? Evidence from a discretionary grant program," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 39-56.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Regression discontinuity design; Municipality data; Local election results; Divided government effect; Incumbency externality effect;

    JEL classification:

    • H10 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - General
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism

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