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An economic explanation of the nationalization of electoral politics

Author

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  • Ignacio Lago
  • Santiago Lago-Peñas

Abstract

The literature on the nationalization of electoral politics focuses on the institutional characteristics of political regimes and the structure and organization of social cleavages. We argue that the nationalization of electoral politics is also driven by economic performance. Short-term economic perturbations increase vote transfers from large (and highly nationalized) parties to small (and weakly nationalized) parties. On the contrary, sharp improvements in economic performance may generate vote shifts towards large parties, and then nationalization should increase. Permissive electoral systems exacerbate the influence of economic performance on nationalization. Pooled cross-sectional time-series regression analysis is conducted on data from 43 countries and 475 elections between 1950 and 2012. The party-level mechanisms are shown through a closer look at Austria and Portugal.

Suggested Citation

  • Ignacio Lago & Santiago Lago-Peñas, 2016. "An economic explanation of the nationalization of electoral politics," Working Papers. Collection A: Public economics, governance and decentralization 1602, Universidade de Vigo, GEN - Governance and Economics research Network.
  • Handle: RePEc:gov:wpaper:1602
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    File URL: http://infogen.webs.uvigo.es/WP/WP1602.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2016
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Julio López Laborda & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Carlos Monasterio Escudero, 2006. "The Practice of Fiscal Federalism in Spain," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0623, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Cleavages; decentralization; economic voting; electoral system; nationalization.;

    JEL classification:

    • H70 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - General
    • H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H72 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Budget and Expenditures
    • H73 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Interjurisdictional Differentials and Their Effects
    • H74 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Borrowing
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism

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