Rainy Day Politics - An Instrumental Variables Approach to the Effect of Parties on Political Outcomes
Rain affects electoral turnout both through a direct effect on the cost of voting and by changing the opportunity cost. In a panel of Norwegian municipalities I find that rain on Election Day increases turnout. As turnout affects electoral outcomes, rain provides an exogeneous source of variation, and hence an instrument, for the party composition of the municipal council. I use this to estimate the causal effect of party composition on politics. I find that an increased share to left wing parties shift spending from education to kindergartens. Beyond this, there are few strong causal effects of political composition.
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