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Political Institutions, Voter Turnout and Policy Outcomes

Listed author(s):
  • Eileen Fumagalli and Gaia Narciso

We question whether the impact of constitutions on economic outcomes (Persson and Tabellini, 2004) is direct. We show that voter turnout is a channel through which forms of government affect economic policies. We provide evidence of the existence of two relationships: the first links constitutions to voter turnout; the second connects voter turnout to policy outcomes. Presidential regimes are found to induce less voter participation in national elections. We then analyze the impact of constitutional variables and voter participation in shaping fiscal policies. Forms of governments lose their explanatory power once participation is accounted for. Higher participation induces an increase in government expenditure, total revenues and welfare state spending. We conclude that forms of government affect policy outcomes through electoral participation.

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Paper provided by IIIS in its series The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series with number iiisdp268.

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Date of creation: 14 Nov 2008
Handle: RePEc:iis:dispap:iiisdp268
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