Seat competitiveness and redistricting: Evidence from voting on municipal mergers
We analyze how (anticipated) changes in the competitiveness of the seats of municipal councilors affect their voting behavior over municipal mergers. The competitiveness of the seats changes because the merger changes the composition of political competitors and the number of available seats in the next election. We use this variation for identification and find that the smaller the increase in the competitiveness of a councilor's seat, the more likely he is to vote for the merger. These effects are not related to the behavioral responses of the voters, but arise from the councilors? desire to avoid electoral competition.
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