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Quantifying Parliamentary Representation of Constituents' Preferences with Quasi-Experimental Data

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  • David Stadelmann
  • Marco Portmann
  • Reiner Eichenberger

Abstract

We assess the effect of constituents’ preferences on legislators’ decisions within a quasiexperimental setting: In the Swiss referendum process, citizens and legislators reveal their preferences for legislative proposals. We match roll call votes of all Swiss legislators on 102 legislative proposals with revealed constituents’ preferences on exactly the same issues from 1996 to 2008. The setting allows us to quantify the quality of parliamentary representation and we identify conditions which affect convergence between constituents’ preferences and legislators’ decisions. Results show that a legislator’s probability to accept a law proposal increases by 16.8 percentage points when district voters accept the proposal.

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  • David Stadelmann & Marco Portmann & Reiner Eichenberger, 2011. "Quantifying Parliamentary Representation of Constituents' Preferences with Quasi-Experimental Data," CREMA Working Paper Series 2011-02, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  • Handle: RePEc:cra:wpaper:2011-02
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. David Stadelmann & Benno Torgler, 2012. "Bounded Rationality and Voting Decisions Exploring a 160-Year Period," Working Papers 2012.70, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    2. Reiner Eichenberger & David Stadelmann & Marco Portmann, 2012. "A comparative analysis of the voting behavior of constituents and their representatives for public debts," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 23(3), pages 244-260, September.
    3. Benno Torgler & Davis Stadelmann & Marco Portmann, 2013. "The Power of Religious Organizations in Human Decision Processes: Analyzing Voting Behavior," QuBE Working Papers 023, QUT Business School.
    4. Benoît LE MAUX & Kristýna DOSTÁLOVÁ & Fabio PADOVANO, 2017. "Ideology and Public Policies: A Quasi-Experimental Test of the Hypothesis that Left-Wing Governments Spend More," Economics Working Paper from Condorcet Center for political Economy at CREM-CNRS 2017-01-ccr, Condorcet Center for political Economy.
    5. Stadelmann David & Portmann Marco & Eichenberger Reiner, 2016. "How Lobbying Affects Representation: Results for Majority-Elected Politicians," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 16(4), pages 1-7, October.
    6. David Stadelmann & Reiner Eichenberger & Marco Portmann, 2014. "Voting against the separation of powers between legislature and administration," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 25(2), pages 207-229, June.
    7. Felix Arnold & Ronny Freier & Magdalena Pallauf & David Stadelmann, 2016. "Voting for direct democratic participation: evidence from an initiative election," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 23(4), pages 716-740, August.
    8. Önder, Ali Sina & Portmann, Marco & Stadelmann, David, 2015. "No Place like Home: Opinion Formation with Homophily and Implications for Policy Decisions," Working Paper Series, Center for Fiscal Studies 2015:4, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    9. Stadelmann, David & Portmann, Marco & Eichenberger, Reiner, 2016. "The Influence of Party Affiliations on Representation of Voter Preferences in Majoritarian vs. Proportional Systems," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145705, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    10. Marco Portmann & David Stadelmann & Reiner Eichenberger, 2013. "District magnitude and representation of the majority’s preferences—a reply and new perspectives," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 154(1), pages 149-151, January.
    11. Serguei Kaniovski & David Stadelmann, 2015. "The Probability of Legislative Shirking: Estimation and Validation," CREMA Working Paper Series 2015-17, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    12. Marco Portmann & David Stadelmann, 2013. "Testing the Median Voter Model and Moving Beyond its Limits: Do Characteristics of Politicians Matter?," CREMA Working Paper Series 2013-05, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    13. Stadelmann, David & Portmann, Marco & Eichenberger, Reiner, 2014. "The law of large districts: How district magnitude affects the quality of political representation," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 128-140.
    14. Stadelmann, David & Portmann, Marco & Eichenberger, Reiner, 2013. "How do Female Preferences Influence Political Decisions by Female and Male Representatives?," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79748, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    15. Felix Arnold & Ronny Freier & Magdalena Pallauf & David Stadelmann, 2014. "Voting for Direct Democracy: Evidence from a Unique Popular Initiative in Bavaria," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1435, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    16. repec:spr:jqecon:v:15:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s40953-017-0095-2 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Political Representation; Constituents’ Preferences; Spatial Voting Models; Referenda;

    JEL classification:

    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
    • H7 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations

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