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Moderating Political Extremism: Single Round vs Runoff Elections under Plurality Rule

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  • Massimo Bordignon
  • Tommaso Nannicini
  • Guido Tabellini

Abstract

We compare single round vs runoff elections under plurality rule, allowing for partly endogenous party formation. Under runoff elections, the number of political candidates is larger, but the influence of extremist voters on equilibrium policy and hence policy volatility are smaller, because the bargaining power of the political extremes is reduced compared to single round elections. The predictions on the number of candidates and on policy volatility are confirmed by evidence from a regression discontinuity design in Italy, where cities above 15,000 inhabitants elect the mayor with a runoff system, while those below hold single round elections.

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  • Massimo Bordignon & Tommaso Nannicini & Guido Tabellini, 2009. "Moderating Political Extremism: Single Round vs Runoff Elections under Plurality Rule," Working Papers 348, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  • Handle: RePEc:igi:igierp:348
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Sandro Brusco & Luca Colombo & Umberto Galmarini, 2010. "Local Governments Tax Autonomy, Lobbying, and Welfare," Department of Economics Working Papers 10-01, Stony Brook University, Department of Economics.
    2. Massimo Bordignon & Gilberto Turati, 2014. "Electoral Rules and Municipal Finances: Evidence From Two Reforms in Italy," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 12(1), pages 24-28, 04.
    3. Parrotta, Pierpaolo & Pozzoli, Dario & Sala, Davide, 2016. "Ethnic diversity and firms' export behavior," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 248-263.
    4. Aurélie Cassette & Etienne Farvaque & Jérôme Héricourt, 2013. "Two-round elections, one-round determinants? Evidence from the French municipal elections," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 156(3), pages 563-591, September.
    5. Veronica Grembi & Tommaso Nannicini & Ugo Troiano, 2011. "Policy Responses to Fiscal Restraints: A Difference-in-Discontinuities Design," Working Papers 397, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    6. Lorenzo Casaburi & Ugo Troiano, 2016. "Ghost-House Busters: The Electoral Response to a Large Anti–Tax Evasion Program," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 131(1), pages 273-314.
    7. Brusco, Sandro & Dziubiński, Marcin & Roy, Jaideep, 2012. "The Hotelling–Downs model with runoff voting," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 447-469.
    8. Giuseppe Mastromatteo, 2011. "H.P. Minsky And Policies To Countervail Crises," DISCE - Quaderni dell'Istituto di Economia e Finanza ief0102, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
    9. repec:ces:ifodic:v:12:y:2014:i:1:p:19108850 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Pettersson-Lidbom, Per, 2012. "Does the size of the legislature affect the size of government? Evidence from two natural experiments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(3), pages 269-278.
    11. Giuseppe Mastromatteo, 2011. "The Debate on the Crisis: Recent Reappraisals of the Concept of Functional Finance," DISCE - Quaderni dell'Istituto di Economia e Finanza ief0105, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
    12. Marco Portmann & David Stadelmann & Reiner Eichenberger, 2012. "District magnitude and representation of the majority’s preferences: Evidence from popular and parliamentary votes," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 151(3), pages 585-610, June.
    13. Guido De Blasio & Guglielmo Barone, 2011. "Local electoral rules and political participation," ERSA conference papers ersa11p418, European Regional Science Association.
    14. Bordignon, Massimo & Monticini, Andrea, 2012. "The importance of the electoral rule: Evidence from Italy," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(1), pages 322-325.
    15. Maria Flavia Ambrosanio & Paolo Balduzzi & Massimo Bordignon, 2014. "Economic crisis and fiscal federalism in Italy," Working papers 8, Società Italiana di Economia Pubblica.
    16. Massimo Bordignon & Andrea Monticini, 2011. "The importance of electoral rule: Evidence from Italy," DISCE - Quaderni dell'Istituto di Economia e Finanza ief0099, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
    17. Kristof De Witte & Benny Geys, 2015. "Strategic Housing Policy, Migration and Sorting around Population Thresholds," CESifo Working Paper Series 5639, CESifo Group Munich.

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    JEL classification:

    • H7 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations

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