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Do Political Parties Matter? Evidence from U.S. Cities

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  • Fernando Ferreira
  • Joseph Gyourko

Abstract

Are cities as politically polarized as states and countries? “No” is the answer from our regression discontinuity design analysis, which shows that whether the mayor is a Democrat or a Republican does not affect the size of city government, the allocation of local public spending, or crime rates. However, there is a substantial incumbent effect for mayors. We investigate three mechanisms that could account for the striking lack of partisan impact at the local level, and find the most support for Tiebout competition among localities within metropolitan areas.

Suggested Citation

  • Fernando Ferreira & Joseph Gyourko, 2009. "Do Political Parties Matter? Evidence from U.S. Cities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(1), pages 399-422.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:124:y:2009:i:1:p:399-422.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1162/qjec.2009.124.1.399
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H7 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations
    • R38 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Government Policy

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