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Electoral bias and policy choice: theory and evidence

  • Tim Besley

    ()

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and London School of Economics)

  • Ian Preston

    ()

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University College London)

This paper develops a new approach to study how electoral bias in favor of one party due to the pattern of districting affects policy choice. We tie a commonly used measure of districting bias to the theory of party competition and show how this affects policy choice in theory. The utility of the approach is illustrated using data on local government in the U.K. The results suggest that reducing electoral bias leads parties to moderate their policies.

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File URL: http://www.ifs.org.uk/wps/wp0603.pdf
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Paper provided by Institute for Fiscal Studies in its series IFS Working Papers with number W06/03.

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Length: 41 pp.
Date of creation: Jan 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ifs:ifsewp:06/03
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  1. repec:bla:restud:v:77:y:2010:i:4:p:1329-1352 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Timothy Besley & Torsten Persson & Daniel Sturm, 2005. "Political Competition and Economic Performance: Theory and Evidence from the United States," NBER Working Papers 11484, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Coate, Stephen & Knight, Brian, 2007. "Socially Optimal Districting: A Theoretical and Empirical Exploration," Working Papers 07-06, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
  4. Tim Besley & Stephen Coate, . "An Economic Model of Representative Democracy," Penn CARESS Working Papers ecf70d639d700dba5327ab0c8, Penn Economics Department.
  5. Ron Johnston & Colin Rallings & Michael Thrasher, 2002. "Electoral success, electoral bias, and Labour hegemony: electoral system effects in English metropolitan boroughs," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 34(7), pages 1303-1317, July.
  6. 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.
  7. Rogers, Diane Lim & Rogers, John H, 2000. " Political Competition and State Government Size: Do Tighter Elections Produce Looser Budgets?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 105(1-2), pages 1-21, October.
  8. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2005. "The Economic Effects of Constitutions," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262661926, June.
  9. Alesina, Alberto, 1988. "Credibility and Policy Convergence in a Two-Party System with Rational Voters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 796-805, September.
  10. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2004. "Constitutional Rules and Fiscal Policy Outcomes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 25-45, March.
  11. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2002. "Political Economics: Explaining Economic Policy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262661314, June.
  12. Stephen Coate & Brian Knight, 2005. "Socially Optimal Districting," NBER Working Papers 11462, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. George Stigler, 1972. "Economic competition and political competition," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 91-106, September.
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