IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/diw/diwwpp/dp1205.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Do Parties Matter?: Estimating the Effect of Political Power in Multi-party Systems

Author

Listed:
  • Ronny Freier
  • Christian Odendahl

Abstract

This paper estimates the effect of political power on tax policies in municipal councils under a proportional election system. The main challenge in estimating the causal effect of parties on policy is to isolate the effect of power from underlying voter preferences and the selection effect of parties. We use an instrumental variable approach where close elections provide the exogenous variation in our variable of interest: voting power. Using data from German municipalities in the state of Bavaria, our estimation results suggest that power does matter. Somewhat surprisingly, the center-left party SPD is found to lower all three locally controlled taxes, whereas The Greens increase both property taxes considerably. These results remain robust across a range of specifications. What is more, the effect of the SPD is confirmed by a simple regression discontinuity estimation of mayors in these local governments.

Suggested Citation

  • Ronny Freier & Christian Odendahl, 2012. "Do Parties Matter?: Estimating the Effect of Political Power in Multi-party Systems," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1205, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp1205
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.398005.de/dp1205.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Fernando Ferreira & Joseph Gyourko, 2009. "Do Political Parties Matter? Evidence from U.S. Cities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(1), pages 399-422.
    2. David S. Lee & Thomas Lemieux, 2010. "Regression Discontinuity Designs in Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, pages 281-355.
    3. Olle Folke, 2014. "Shades Of Brown And Green: Party Effects In Proportional Election Systems," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 12(5), pages 1361-1395, October.
    4. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2002. "Political Economics: Explaining Economic Policy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262661314, January.
    5. Guido Imbens & Karthik Kalyanaraman, 2012. "Optimal Bandwidth Choice for the Regression Discontinuity Estimator," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(3), pages 933-959.
    6. 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, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Ade, Florian & Freier, Ronny & Odendahl, Christian, 2014. "Incumbency effects in government and opposition: Evidence from Germany," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 117-134.
    2. Kaisa Kotakorpi & Panu Poutvaara & Marko Tervio, 2013. "Returns to office in national and local politics," Discussion Papers 86, Aboa Centre for Economics.
    3. Thushyanthan Baskaran & Zohal Hessami, 2014. "Political alignment and intergovernmental transfers in parliamentary systems: Evidence from Germany," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2014-17, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
    4. Felix Arnold & Ronny Freier, 2015. "The Partisan Effects of Voter Turnout: How Conservatives Profit from Rainy Election Days," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1463, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    5. Benoît LE MAUX & Kristýna DOSTÁLOVÁ & Antti MOISIO, 2017. "Do political parties matter? Endogenous fragmentation, partisanship, and local public expenditures in Finland," Economics Working Paper from Condorcet Center for political Economy at CREM-CNRS 2017-02-ccr, Condorcet Center for political Economy.
    6. 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.
    7. Freier, Ronny, 2015. "The mayor's advantage: Causal evidence on incumbency effects in German mayoral elections," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 40(PA), pages 16-30.
    8. Hyytinen, Ari & Saarimaa, Tuukka & Tukiainen, Janne, 2014. "Electoral vulnerability and size of local governments: Evidence from voting on municipal mergers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 193-204.
    9. Fowler, Anthony & Hall, Andrew B., 2015. "Congressional seniority and pork: A pig fat myth?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 40(PA), pages 42-56.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    local taxation; local election; municipality data instrumental variable approach;

    JEL classification:

    • H10 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - General
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp1205. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Bibliothek). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/diwbede.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.