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Income and policy choices: Evidence from parliamentary decisions and referenda

Author

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  • David Stadelmann
  • Marco Portmann
  • Reiner Eichenberger

Abstract

We analyze political representation of preferences of different income groups by matching referendum outcomes for low, middle, and high-income voters with individual legislators' decisions on identical policy proposals. Results indicate that legislators more closely represent preferences of rich voters than preferences of middle-income and poor voters, and legislators are more responsive towards the rich. Preferences of low, middle, and high-income voters are, however, correlated. Representation of income groups varies according to legislators' party affiliations.

Suggested Citation

  • David Stadelmann & Marco Portmann & Reiner Eichenberger, 2014. "Income and policy choices: Evidence from parliamentary decisions and referenda," CREMA Working Paper Series 2014-19, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  • Handle: RePEc:cra:wpaper:2014-19
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Christoph A. Schaltegger & Christoph Gorgas, 2011. "The Evolution of Top Incomes in Switzerland over the 20th Century," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 147(IV), pages 479-519, December.
    2. Garrett, Thomas A, 1999. "A Test of Shirking under Legislative and Citizen Vote: The Case of State Lottery Adoption," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 42(1), pages 189-208, April.
    3. Fabio Padovano, 2013. "Are we witnessing a paradigm shift in the analysis of political competition?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 156(3), pages 631-651, September.
    4. Frey, Bruno S, 1994. "Direct Democracy: Politico-economic Lessons from Swiss Experience," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 338-342, May.
    5. Marco Portmann & David Stadelmann & Reiner Eichenberger, 2010. "District Magnitude and Representation of the Majority?s Preferences: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from Popular and Parliamentary Votes," CREMA Working Paper Series 2010-13, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    6. Marco Portmann & David Stadelmann & Reiner Eichenberger, 2012. "District magnitude and representation of the majority’s preferences: Evidence from popular and parliamentary votes," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 151(3), pages 585-610, June.
    7. Stadelmann, David & Portmann, Marco & Eichenberger, Reiner, 2012. "Evaluating the median voter model’s explanatory power," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 114(3), pages 312-314.
    8. Eric Brunner & Stephen L. Ross & Ebonya Washington, 2013. "Does Less Income Mean Less Representation?," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 53-76, May.
    9. John Carey & Simon Hix, 2013. "District magnitude and representation of the majority’s preferences: a comment and reinterpretation," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 154(1), pages 139-148, January.
    10. Matsusaka, John G., 2010. "Popular Control of Public Policy: A Quantitative Approach," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 5(2), pages 133-167, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Dilla, Diana, 2017. "Staatsverschuldung und Verschuldungsmentalität
      [Public Debt and Debt Mentality]
      ," MPRA Paper 79432, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. David Stadelmann, 2018. "Testing Proposals for a “Democracy of the Future”," Homo Oeconomicus: Journal of Behavioral and Institutional Economics, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 123-126, June.
    3. Roger D. Congleton & Alberto Batinti & Rinaldo Pietratonio, 2017. "The Electoral Politics and the Evolution of Complex Healthcare Systems," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(4), pages 483-510, November.
    4. Anna Maria Koukal & Reiner Eichenberger, 2017. "Explaining a Paradox of Democracy: The Role of Institutions in Female Enfranchisement," CREMA Working Paper Series 2017-13, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Income; policy decisions; representation; voting; referenda; political behavior;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H70 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - General

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