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The Power of Parties

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

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.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2013/wp-cesifo-2013-02/cesifo1_wp4119.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 4119.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4119
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  1. Borge, Lars-Erik & Sorensen, Rune J, 2002. " Aggregating Spending Preferences: An Empirical Analysis of Party Preferences in Norwegian Local Governments," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 110(3-4), pages 225-43, March.
  2. Aaberge, Rolf & Bhuller, Manudeep & Langørgen, Audun & Mogstad, Magne, 2010. "The distributional impact of public services when needs differ," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(9-10), pages 549-562, October.
  3. Glaeser, Edward L. & Ward, Bryce A., 2006. "Myths and Realities of American Political Geography," Working Paper Series rwp06-007, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  4. Jørgen Juel Andersen & Jon H. Fiva & Gisle James Natvik, 2013. "Voting When the Stakes Are High," Working Papers 0017, Centre for Applied Macro- and Petroleum economics (CAMP), BI Norwegian Business School.
  5. Besley, Timothy J. & Case, Anne, 2002. "Political Institutions and Policy Choices: Evidence from the United States," CEPR Discussion Papers 3498, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Alesina, Alberto, 1988. "Credibility and Policy Convergence in a Two-Party System with Rational Voters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 796-805, September.
  7. Fernando Ferreira & Joseph Gyourko, 2007. "Do Political Parties Matter? Evidence from U.S. Cities," NBER Working Papers 13535, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Edward L. Glaeser & Giacomo A. M. Ponzetto & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2004. "Strategic Extremism: Why Republicans and Democrats Divide on Religious Values," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2044, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  9. Per Pettersson-Lidbom, 2008. "Do Parties Matter for Economic Outcomes? A Regression-Discontinuity Approach," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(5), pages 1037-1056, 09.
  10. Eggers, Andy & Hainmueller, Jens, 2008. "MPs for Sale? Estimating Returns to Office in Post-War British Politics," MPRA Paper 7892, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Borge, Lars-Erik, 2000. "Charging for public services: the case of utilities in Norwegian local governments," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 703-718, December.
  12. David S. Lee & Thomas Lemieux, 2009. "Regression Discontinuity Designs in Economics," NBER Working Papers 14723, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Borge, Lars-Erik & Rattso, J.Jorn, 2004. "Income distribution and tax structure: Empirical test of the Meltzer-Richard hypothesis," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 805-826, August.
  14. Jon Fiva & Jørn Rattsø, 2007. "Local choice of property taxation: evidence from Norway," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 132(3), pages 457-470, September.
  15. Stephen Machin & Kjell Salvanes, 2010. "Valuing School Quality Via School Choice Reform," CEE Discussion Papers 0113, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  16. Marta Curto-Grau (Universitat de Barcelona) & Albert Sole-Olle (Universitat de Barcelona) & Pilar Sorribas-Navarro(Universitat de Barcelona), 2012. "Partisan targeting of inter-governmental transfers & state interference in local elections: evidence from Spain," Working Papers in Economics 288, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.
  17. Edward L. Glaeser & Bryce A. Ward, 2006. "Myths and Realities of American Political Geography," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2100, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  18. Fiva, Jon H., 2009. "Does welfare policy affect residential choices? An empirical investigation accounting for policy endogeneity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(3-4), pages 529-540, April.
  19. Borge, Lars-Erik, 1995. " Economic and Political Determinants of Fee Income in Norwegian Local Governments," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 83(3-4), pages 353-73, June.
  20. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416.
  21. Jon H. Fiva & Olle Folke, 2011. "Mechanical and Psychological Effects of Electoral Reform," CESifo Working Paper Series 3505, CESifo Group Munich.
  22. Olle Folke, 2010. "Shades of brown and green: Party effects in proportional election systems," Working Papers 2010/25, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  23. Jon H. Fiva & Lars J. Kirkebøen, 2011. "Information Shocks and the Dynamics of the Housing Market," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 113(3), pages 525-552, 09.
  24. Edward L. Glaeser & Bryce A. Ward, 2006. "Myths and Realities of American Political Geography," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 119-144, Spring.
  25. Jørgen Juel Andersen & Jon H. Fiva & Gisle James Natvik, 2010. "Voting when the Stakes are High," CESifo Working Paper Series 3167, CESifo Group Munich.
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