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Intra-party politics and interest groups: missing links in explaining government effectiveness

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  • Andrea Ceron

    () (Università degli Studi di Milano)

  • Luigi Curini

    (Università degli Studi di Milano)

  • Fedra Negri

    (Università degli Studi di Milano)

Abstract

The article sheds light on two missing links in the existing literature on government’s policy preferences and policy choices, namely the roles played by party factions and trade unions as political actors able to affect government’s decision-making power. The content analysis of a wide typology of documents (i.e., investiture speeches, parliamentary debates, motions discussed during parties’ and trade unions’ congresses) allows to locate cabinets, parties, party factions and trade unions on a common pro-state/pro-market scale. Using these new data sources, we perform a multivariate time-series analysis to estimate the relative impact of those political actors on social expenditure in Italy throughout its modern history (1946–2015). The results support the idea that intra-party dynamics and trade unions’ preferences do matter. Indeed, government’s ability to retrench the welfare state vanishes when the Prime Minister’s party is highly polarized internally and when trade unions are more cohesive.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrea Ceron & Luigi Curini & Fedra Negri, 2019. "Intra-party politics and interest groups: missing links in explaining government effectiveness," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 180(3), pages 407-427, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:180:y:2019:i:3:d:10.1007_s11127-019-00644-0
    DOI: 10.1007/s11127-019-00644-0
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Government partisanship; Intra-party politics; Trade unions; Parliamentary speeches; Social expenditure;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs

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