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Do Politicians’ Preferences Correspond to those of the Voters? An Investigation of Political Representation

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Listed:
  • Dahlberg, Matz

    () (Department of Economics)

  • Mörk, Eva

    () (Department of Economics)

  • Ågren, Hanna

    (Department of Economics)

Abstract

This paper investigates to what extent voters and politicians have the same preferences for locally provided welfare services. We make use of two different types of survey questionnaires; one directed towards voters and one directed towards politicians. We reach two main conclusions in the paper. First, we find that politicians have preferences for significantly different spending on locally provided welfare services compared to voters. Second, this difference remains even after controlling for politicians and voters having different socio-economic characteristics. For example, when analyzing female representation, we find that female politicians have significantly different preferences for spending than female voters. One implication of the latter result is that an increase in the ratio of female to male politicians may not be the only way to deal with the desire to increase the political representation of women.

Suggested Citation

  • Dahlberg, Matz & Mörk, Eva & Ågren, Hanna, 2004. "Do Politicians’ Preferences Correspond to those of the Voters? An Investigation of Political Representation," Working Paper Series 2004:2, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:uunewp:2004_002
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Timothy Besley & Anne Case, 2003. "Political Institutions and Policy Choices: Evidence from the United States," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(1), pages 7-73, March.
    2. Hanna Ågren & Matz Dahlberg & Eva Mörk, 2007. "Do politicians’ preferences correspond to those of the voters? An investigation of political representation," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 130(1), pages 137-162, January.
    3. Bergstrom, Theodore C & Rubinfeld, Daniel L & Shapiro, Perry, 1982. "Micro-Based Estimates of Demand Functions for Local School Expenditures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1183-1205, September.
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    6. Timothy Besley & Stephen Coate, 1997. "An Economic Model of Representative Democracy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 85-114.
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    9. Raghabendra Chattopadhyay & Esther Duflo, 2004. "Women as Policy Makers: Evidence from a Randomized Policy Experiment in India," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(5), pages 1409-1443, September.
    10. Martin J. Osborne & Al Slivinski, 1996. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(1), pages 65-96.
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    Cited by:

    1. Reiner Eichenberger & David Stadelmann & Marco Portmann, 2012. "A comparative analysis of the voting behavior of constituents and their representatives for public debts," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 23(3), pages 244-260, September.
    2. Svaleryd, Helena, 2009. "Women's representation and public spending," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 186-198, June.
    3. Jakobsson, Niklas, 2009. "Why do you want lower taxes? Preferences regarding municipal income tax rates," Working Papers in Economics 345, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    4. Stadelmann David & Portmann Marco & Eichenberger Reiner, 2016. "How Lobbying Affects Representation: Results for Majority-Elected Politicians," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 16(4), pages 1-7, October.
    5. Enriqueta Aragonès & Santiago Sánchez-Pagés, 2014. "Incumbency (dis)advantage when citizens can propose Abstract:This paper analyses the problem that an incumbent faces during the legislature when deciding how to react to citizen proposals such as the ," UB Economics Working Papers 2014/314, Universitat de Barcelona, Facultat d'Economia i Empresa, UB Economics.
    6. Österholm, Pär, 2004. "Estimating the Relationship between Age Structure and GDP in the OECD Using Panel Cointegration Methods," Working Paper Series 2004:13, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    7. Revelli Federico & Tovmo Per, 2006. "Declared vs. revealed yardstick competition:Local government efficiency in Norway," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 200605, University of Turin.
    8. Thomas Aronsson & Sören Blomquist, 2008. "Redistribution and Provision of Public Goods in an Economic Federation," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 10(1), pages 125-143, February.
    9. Stadelmann, David & Portmann, Marco & Eichenberger, Reiner, 2015. "Military careers of politicians matter for national security policy," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 142-156.
    10. Hanna Ågren & Matz Dahlberg & Eva Mörk, 2007. "Do politicians’ preferences correspond to those of the voters? An investigation of political representation," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 130(1), pages 137-162, January.
    11. Lunder, Trond Erik, 2016. "Between centralized and decentralized welfare policy: Have national guidelines constrained the influence of local preferences?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 1-13.
    12. Sören Blomquist & Vidar Christiansen, 2008. "Taxation and Heterogeneous Preferences," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 64(2), pages 218-244, June.
    13. Mörk, Eva & Ahlin, Åsa, 2007. "Effects of decentralization on school resources: Sweden 1989-2002," Working Paper Series 2007:9, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    14. Aragonès, Enriqueta & Sánchez-Pagés, Santiago, 2010. "The disadvantage of winning an election," SIRE Discussion Papers 2010-21, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
    15. Ahlin, Åsa & Mörk, Eva, 2008. "Effects of decentralization on school resources," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 276-284, June.
    16. Önder, Ali Sina & Portmann, Marco & Stadelmann, David, 2015. "No Place like Home: Opinion Formation with Homophily and Implications for Policy Decisions," Working Paper Series, Center for Fiscal Studies 2015:4, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    17. Fredrik Carlsson & Mitesh Kataria & Elina Lampi, 2011. "Do EPA Administrators Recommend Environmental Policies That Citizens Want?," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 87(1), pages 60-74.
    18. Nordin, Mattias, 2009. "The effect of information on voting behavior," Working Paper Series 2009:14, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Political representation; local public;

    JEL classification:

    • C35 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions
    • H40 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - General
    • H72 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Budget and Expenditures

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