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Electoral Incentives and Economic Policy across Political Regimes

Author

Listed:
  • Galasso, Vincenzo
  • Nunnari, Salvatore

Abstract

This paper provides a direct test of the causal link from electoral rules to economic policy. Our theoretical model delivers unambigous predictions on the interaction between institutions and a time varying event, namely the unemployment rate in pivotal and non-pivotal districts. We use local level data on unemployment rate and political competition to obtain an empirical specification which matches our model. First, we test the effect of electoral incentives under majority rule, by analyzing the US House representatives voting records on the 2009 Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act, which increased unemployment benefit coverage and generosity. Second, we exploit the time-varying dimension of our theoretical prediction to test the causal effect on panel data. We use a dataset with local information on electoral competitiveness and unemployment rates for 29 OECD countries in 1980-2001 and employ panel analysis on different measures of UB generosity. The empirical evidence strongly supports our theoretical predictions.

Suggested Citation

  • Galasso, Vincenzo & Nunnari, Salvatore, 2010. "Electoral Incentives and Economic Policy across Political Regimes," CEPR Discussion Papers 7959, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7959
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:cup:apsrev:v:100:y:2006:i:02:p:165-181_06 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. David Austen-Smith, 2000. "Redistributing Income under Proportional Representation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(6), pages 1235-1269, December.
    3. Stefano Gagliarducci & Tommaso Nannicini & Paolo Naticchioni, 2011. "Electoral Rules and Politicians' Behavior: A Micro Test," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 144-174, August.
    4. Philippe Aghion & Alberto Alesina & Francesco Trebbi, 2004. "Endogenous Political Institutions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(2), pages 565-611.
    5. Aidt, T.S. & Dutta, Jayasri & Loukoianova, Elena, 2006. "Democracy comes to Europe: Franchise extension and fiscal outcomes 1830-1938," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 249-283, February.
    6. Lindbeck, Assar & Weibull, Jorgen W., 1993. "A model of political equilibrium in a representative democracy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 195-209, June.
    7. repec:cup:apsrev:v:101:y:2007:i:03:p:373-391_07 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Patricia Funk & Christina Gathmann, 2010. "How do Electoral Systems Affect Fiscal Policy? Evidence from State and Local Governments, 1890 to 2005," CESifo Working Paper Series 2958, CESifo Group Munich.
    9. A. Lizzeri & Persico N., 1999. "Provision of Public Goods Under Alternative Electral Incentives," Princeton Economic Theory Papers 99f4, Economics Department, Princeton University.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economic Policy; Electoral Rules; Pivotal Districts; Unemployment Benefits;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings

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