Green polities: urban environmental performance and government popularity
Ascertaining whether local election results are driven by incumbents’ performance while in office or mechanically reflect constituencies’ ideological affiliation and macroeconomic conditions is crucial for evaluating the alleged accountability-enhancing property of decentralization. Based on a unique score of urban environmental performance and the results of all elections held in the major Italian cities over a decade, we investigate the role of local (fiscal and environmental) versus national issues in municipal elections. While the empirical evidence points to a strong ideological attachment and a somewhat weaker fiscal conservatism, it reveals that media reported environmental ranking has a considerable impact on the popularity of city governments.
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