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Do personal characteristics of councilors affect municipal budget allocation?

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  • Kuliomina, Jekaterina

Abstract

Balanced representation is largely viewed as a vital goal to be achieved in governing bodies in both business and politics. However, the evidence on the effect representation has on decision making is scarce in the literature. In this paper, I analyse whether local politicians’ personal characteristics - gender, education and occupation - influence municipal budget allocation. In a regression discontinuity design I compare municipalities where candidates with a particular characteristic narrowly won or lost. The analysis is based on Czech local elections and municipal budget data. Educated candidates are favored by Czech electorate, while female candidates are disfavored. However, I find no large and robust effect of electing additional women, educated councilors or entrepreneurs on budget allocation, deficit or debt. This holds even in the smallest municipalities where the input of an additionally elected candidate is expected to have higher weight in decision making. In addition, I find that capital revenues are lower in cases where the marginally elected women form majority.

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  • Kuliomina, Jekaterina, 2021. "Do personal characteristics of councilors affect municipal budget allocation?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 70(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:70:y:2021:i:c:s0176268021000355
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2021.102034
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Regression discontinuity; Czech Republic; Municipal budget;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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