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Concurrent elections and political accountability: Evidence from Italian local elections

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  • Bracco, Emanuele
  • Revelli, Federico

Abstract

This paper analyses the effects of holding concurrent elections in multi-tiered government structures on turnout decision and voting behaviour, based on municipal and provincial electoral data from Italy during the 2000s. When the less salient provincial elections are held concurrently with the highly salient municipal elections, we observe three main effects: (1) turnout increases significantly by almost ten percentage points; (2) issues that are specific to the more salient (mayoral) contest affect the less salient (provincial) contest, with mayors’ fiscal decisions impacting on the vote share of provincial incumbents; (3) issues that are specific to the less salient (provincial) contest stop affecting provincial elections outcomes. These findings shed light on how voters acquire information on incumbent politicians, and suggests that the effectiveness of an election as an accountability tool may be hindered by the concurrence with higher-stakes elections.

Suggested Citation

  • Bracco, Emanuele & Revelli, Federico, 2018. "Concurrent elections and political accountability: Evidence from Italian local elections," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 148(C), pages 135-149.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:148:y:2018:i:c:p:135-149
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2018.02.006
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Concurrent elections; Turnout; Political accountability; Local elections; Coattails;

    JEL classification:

    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • H70 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - General

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