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The Power of Parties

Author

Listed:
  • Jon H. Fiva
  • Olle Folke
  • Rune J. Sørensen

Abstract

As with the market for goods and services, democratic competition involves political parties offering their services (policy programs) to citizen-consumers who vote for their preferred partisan supplier. Little is known about the partial effect of a shift in parties’ seat shares for given voter preferences, particularly in proportional representation systems. We estimate party effects using a regression discontinuity design tailored to proportional systems. Based on rich local government data, the analyses show that parties matter for fiscal policies. A larger left-wing party leads to more property taxation and higher user charges. It also leads to higher spending on child care but less on old-age care. These effects are caused both by changes in the representation of individual parties and by shifts between the party blocs.

Suggested Citation

  • Jon H. Fiva & Olle Folke & Rune J. Sørensen, 2013. "The Power of Parties," CESifo Working Paper Series 4119, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4119
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    Cited by:

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    2. Freier, Ronny & Odendahl, Christian, 2015. "Do parties matter? Estimating the effect of political power in multi-party systems," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 310-328.
    3. Olle Folke & Johanna Rickne, 2020. "All the Single Ladies: Job Promotions and the Durability of Marriage," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 260-287, January.
    4. Thushyanthan Baskaran & Zohal Hessami, 2017. "Political alignment and intergovernmental transfers in parliamentary systems: evidence from Germany," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 171(1), pages 75-98, April.
    5. 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.
    6. Jo Thori Lind, 2014. "Rainy Day Politics - An Instrumental Variables Approach to the Effect of Parties on Political Outcomes," CESifo Working Paper Series 4911, CESifo.
    7. Lind, Jo Thori, 2020. "Rainy day politics. An instrumental variables approach to the effect of parties on political outcomes," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C).
    8. Andersen, Jørgen Juel & Fiva, Jon H. & Natvik, Gisle James, 2014. "Voting when the stakes are high," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 157-166.
    9. Fiva, Jon H. & Halse, Askill H., 2016. "Local favoritism in at-large proportional representation systems," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C), pages 15-26.
    10. 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).
    11. Fowler, Anthony & Hall, Andrew B., 2015. "Congressional seniority and pork: A pig fat myth?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 40(PA), pages 42-56.
    12. Fiva, Jon H. & Røhr, Helene Lie, 2018. "Climbing the ranks: incumbency effects in party-list systems," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 142-156.
    13. Aggeborn, Linuz, 2016. "Voter turnout and the size of government," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 29-40.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    fiscal policy; proportional representation; regression discontinuity design;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H72 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Budget and Expenditures

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