IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/fer/wpaper/106.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Effects of Municipal Mergers on Voter Turnout

Author

Listed:
  • Lapointe, Simon
  • Saarimaa, Tuukka
  • Tukiainen, Janne

Abstract

We study the effects of municipal mergers on voter turnout in a difference-in-differences framework, using data from a wave of municipal mergers in Finland in 2009. Analysing two pre-merger elections and three post-merger elections, spanning a total of 17 years, we find that municipal mergers decrease voter turnout by 4 percentage points in the long run in the relatively small municipalities compared to similar small municipalities that did not merge. As the average turnout rate prior to merging in this group was around 69%, this is a substantial effect. We also find that virtually nothing happens to turnout in the municipalities that were relatively large within their merger. Furthermore, mergers are associated with a decrease in voters’ political efficacy and turnout decreases more in those municipalities that experience larger decreases in efficacy.

Suggested Citation

  • Lapointe, Simon & Saarimaa, Tuukka & Tukiainen, Janne, 2018. "Effects of Municipal Mergers on Voter Turnout," Working Papers 106, VATT Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:fer:wpaper:106
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.doria.fi/handle/10024/152974
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Besley, Timothy & Case, Anne, 1995. "Incumbent Behavior: Vote-Seeking, Tax-Setting, and Yardstick Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 25-45, March.
    2. Alberto Alesina & Enrico Spolaore, 1997. "On the Number and Size of Nations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1027-1056.
    3. Roesel, Felix, 2017. "Do mergers of large local governments reduce expenditures? – Evidence from Germany using the synthetic control method," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 22-36.
    4. Ellingsen, Tore, 1998. "Externalities vs internalities: a model of political integration," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 251-268, May.
    5. repec:cup:apsrev:v:105:y:2011:i:04:p:765-789_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Sune Welling Hansen, 2014. "Common pool size and project size: an empirical test on expenditures using Danish municipal mergers," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 159(1), pages 3-21, April.
    7. Saarimaa, Tuukka & Tukiainen, Janne, 2016. "Local representation and strategic voting: Evidence from electoral boundary reforms," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 31-45.
    8. Benjamin Bruns & Ronny Freier & Abel Schumann, 2015. "Finding your right (or left) partner to merge," Working Papers 2015009, Berlin Doctoral Program in Economics and Management Science (BDPEMS).
    9. Miceli Thomas J., 1993. "The Decision to Regionalize in the Provision of Education: An Application of the Tiebout Model," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 344-360, May.
    10. repec:cup:apsrev:v:94:y:2000:i:02:p:361-373_22 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Karp, Jeffrey A & Banducci, Susan A, 2008. "Political Efficacy and Participation in Twenty-Seven Democracies: How Electoral Systems Shape Political Behaviour," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 38(02), pages 311-334, April.
    12. repec:cup:apsrev:v:80:y:1986:i:01:p:17-43_18 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. repec:cup:apsrev:v:62:y:1968:i:01:p:25-42_11 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. 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.
    15. repec:cup:apsrev:v:110:y:2016:i:04:p:812-831_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Ronny Freier & Benjamin Bruns & Abel Schumann, 2015. "Finding your right (or left) partner to merge," ERSA conference papers ersa15p188, European Regional Science Association.
    17. Saarimaa, Tuukka & Tukiainen, Janne, 2014. "I Don't Care to Belong to Any Club That Will Have Me as a Member: Empirical Analysis of Municipal Mergers," Political Science Research and Methods, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(01), pages 97-117, April.
    18. Andersen, Jørgen Juel & Fiva, Jon H. & Natvik, Gisle James, 2014. "Voting when the stakes are high," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 157-166.
    19. Patricia Funk, 2010. "Social Incentives and Voter Turnout: Evidence from the Swiss Mail Ballot System," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(5), pages 1077-1103, September.
    20. Fiva, Jon H. & Halse, Askill H., 2016. "Local favoritism in at-large proportional representation systems," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C), pages 15-26.
    21. repec:cup:apsrev:v:102:y:2008:i:01:p:33-48_08 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. Lyytikäinen, Teemu & Tukiainen, Janne, 2019. "Are voters rational?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 230-242.
    23. Sune Welling Hansen, 2015. "The Democratic Costs of Size: How Increasing Size Affects Citizen Satisfaction with Local Government," Political Studies, Political Studies Association, vol. 63(2), pages 373-389, June.
    24. Benjamin Bruns & Ronny Freier & Abel Schumann, 2015. "Finding Your Right (or Left) Partner to Merge," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1467, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    25. Clarke, Harold D. & Acock, Alan C., 1989. "National Elections and Political Attitudes: The Case of Political Efficacy," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 19(04), pages 551-562, October.
    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. Blesse, Sebastian & Roesel, Felix, 2018. "Merging county administrations: Cross-national evidence of fiscal and political effects," ZEW Discussion Papers 18-031, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    difference-in-differences; jurisdiction size; municipal mergers; voter turnout; Local public finance and provision of public services; C23; D72; H70;

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • 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

    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:fer:wpaper:106. 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: (Anita Niskanen). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/vatttfi.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.