IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp3348.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Electoral Rules and Politicians’ Behavior: A Micro Test

Author

Listed:
  • Gagliarducci, Stefano

    () (University of Rome Tor Vergata)

  • Nannicini, Tommaso

    () (Bocconi University)

  • Naticchioni, Paolo

    () (University of Rome 3)

Abstract

Theory predicts that the majoritarian electoral system should produce more targeted redistribution and lower politicians’ rents than proportional representation. We test these predictions using micro data for the mixed-member Italian House of Representatives, which allow us to sidestep the identification problems of previous studies based on country-level data. In particular, we address the nonrandom selection into different electoral systems by exploiting a distinctive feature of the Italian two-tier elections from 1994 to 2006: candidates could run for both the majoritarian and the proportional tier, but if they won in both tiers they had to accept the majoritarian seat. Focusing on elections decided by a narrow margin allows us to generate quasi-experimental estimates of the impact of the electoral rule. The main results confirm theoretical predictions, as majoritarian representatives put forward a higher proportion of bills targeted at local areas and show lower absenteeism rates than their proportional colleagues.

Suggested Citation

  • Gagliarducci, Stefano & Nannicini, Tommaso & Naticchioni, Paolo, 2008. "Electoral Rules and Politicians’ Behavior: A Micro Test," IZA Discussion Papers 3348, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3348
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp3348.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini & Francesco Trebbi, 2003. "Electoral Rules and Corruption," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(4), pages 958-989, June.
    2. Nicola Persico & Alessandro Lizzeri, 2001. "The Provision of Public Goods under Alternative Electoral Incentives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 225-239, March.
    3. Nicola Persico & José C. R. Pueblita & Dan Silverman, 2011. "Factions and Political Competition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(2), pages 242-288.
    4. Wilbert Van Der Klaauw, 2008. "Regression–Discontinuity Analysis: A Survey of Recent Developments in Economics," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 22(2), pages 219-245, June.
    5. Persson, Torsten & Roland, Gerard & Tabellini, Guido, 2007. "Electoral Rules and Government Spending in Parliamentary Democracies," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 2(2), pages 155-188, May.
    6. Stefano Gagliarducci & Tommaso Nannicini & Paolo Naticchioni, 2011. "Electoral Rules and Politicians' Behavior: A Micro Test," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 144-174, August.
    7. Jens Ludwig & Douglas L. Miller, 2007. "Does Head Start Improve Children's Life Chances? Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Design," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(1), pages 159-208.
    8. Myerson Roger B., 1993. "Effectiveness of Electoral Systems for Reducing Government Corruption: A Game-Theoretic Analysis," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 118-132, January.
    9. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1999. "The size and scope of government:: Comparative politics with rational politicians," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 699-735, April.
    10. David S. Lee & Enrico Moretti & Matthew J. Butler, 2004. "Do Voters Affect or Elect Policies? Evidence from the U. S. House," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(3), pages 807-859.
    11. Guillaume Fréchette & John Kagel & Massimo Morelli, 2012. "Pork versus public goods: an experimental study of public good provision within a legislative bargaining framework," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 49(3), pages 779-800, April.
    12. Stefano Gagliarducci & Tommaso Nannicini & Paolo Naticchioni, 2007. "Outside Income and Moral Hazard: The Elusive Quest for Good Politicians," Boston University - Department of Economics - The Institute for Economic Development Working Papers Series dp-164, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    13. Daron Acemoglu, 2005. "Constitutions, Politics and Economics: A Review Essay on Persson and Tabellini's "The Economic Effect of Constitutions"," NBER Working Papers 11235, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti & Roberto Perotti & Massimo Rostagno, 2002. "Electoral Systems and Public Spending," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(2), pages 609-657.
    15. Lee, David S., 2008. "Randomized experiments from non-random selection in U.S. House elections," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 675-697, February.
    16. Imbens, Guido W. & Lemieux, Thomas, 2008. "Regression discontinuity designs: A guide to practice," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 615-635, February.
    17. Thomas Stratmann & Martin Baur, 2002. "Plurality Rule, Proportional Representation, and the German Bundestag: How Incentives to Pork-Barrel Differ Across Electoral Systems," CESifo Working Paper Series 650, CESifo.
    18. Papke, Leslie E & Wooldridge, Jeffrey M, 1996. "Econometric Methods for Fractional Response Variables with an Application to 401(K) Plan Participation Rates," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(6), pages 619-632, Nov.-Dec..
    19. Hahn, Jinyong & Todd, Petra & Van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 2001. "Identification and Estimation of Treatment Effects with a Regression-Discontinuity Design," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(1), pages 201-209, January.
    20. Kunicovã , Jana & Rose-Ackerman, Susan, 2005. "Electoral Rules and Constitutional Structures as Constraints on Corruption," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 35(4), pages 573-606, October.
    21. Myerson, Roger B., 1999. "Theoretical comparisons of electoral systems," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 671-697, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Albanese, Giuseppe & Cioffi, Marika & Tommasino, Pietro, 2019. "Legislators' behaviour and electoral rules: Evidence from an Italian reform," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 423-444.
    2. Vincenzo Galasso & Tommaso Nannicini, 2017. "Political selection under alternative electoral rules," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 171(3), pages 257-281, June.
    3. Ferraz, Claudio & Finan, Frederico S., 2008. "Motivating Politicians: The Impacts of Monetary Incentives on Quality and Performance," IZA Discussion Papers 3411, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Galasso, Vincenzo & Nannicini, Tommaso, 2011. "Competing on Good Politicians," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 105(1), pages 79-99, February.
    5. Guido W. Imbens & Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2009. "Recent Developments in the Econometrics of Program Evaluation," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(1), pages 5-86, March.
    6. Jan Palguta, 2015. "Political Rent-Seeking in Public Procurement: Evidence from the Entry of Political Challengers at Electoral Thresholds," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp549, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    7. Marco Portmann & David Stadelmann & Reiner Eichenberger, 2010. "District Magnitude and Representation of the Majority?s Preferences: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from Popular and Parliamentary Votes," CREMA Working Paper Series 2010-13, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    8. Ari Hyytinen & Jaakko Meriläinen & Tuukka Saarimaa & Otto Toivanen & Janne Tukiainen, 2018. "When does regression discontinuity design work? Evidence from random election outcomes," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 9(2), pages 1019-1051, July.
    9. Marcos Chamon & João Manoel Pinho de Mello & Sergio Firpo, 2008. "Electoral rules, political competition and fiscal spending : regression discontinuity evidence from Brazilian municipalities," Textos para discussão 559, Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil).
    10. Garance Genicot ⓡ & Laurent Bouton ⓡ & Micael Castanheira ⓡ, 2018. "Electoral Systems and Inequalities in Government Interventions," NBER Working Papers 25205, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Stefano Gagliarducci & Tommaso Nannicini, 2013. "Do Better Paid Politicians Perform Better? Disentangling Incentives From Selection," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 369-398, April.
    12. Wesley Hartmann & Harikesh S. Nair & Sridhar Narayanan, 2011. "Identifying Causal Marketing Mix Effects Using a Regression Discontinuity Design," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 30(6), pages 1079-1097, November.
    13. Fumagalli, Eileen & Narciso, Gaia, 2012. "Political institutions, voter turnout, and policy outcomes," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 162-173.
    14. Jaakko Meriläinen, 2019. "Single‐Party Rule, Public Spending, and Political Rents: Evidence from Finnish Municipalities," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 121(2), pages 736-762, April.
    15. Daniel M Kselman, 2020. "Public goods equilibria under closed- and open-list proportional representation," Journal of Theoretical Politics, , vol. 32(1), pages 112-142, January.
    16. 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.
    17. Johannes Becker & Andreas Peichl & Johannes Rincke, 2009. "Politicians’ outside earnings and electoral competition," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 140(3), pages 379-394, September.
    18. Maria Rosaria Alfano & Anna Laura Baraldi & Erasmo Papagni, 2016. "Effect of the proportionality degree of electoral systems on corruption," Environment and Planning C, , vol. 34(8), pages 1895-1916, December.
    19. Sieger, Philip, 2012. "Incumbency Effects in Germany: Federal and Mayoral Elections," VfS Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century 62084, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    20. Halse, Askill Harkjerr & Fridstrøm, Lasse, 2019. "Explaining low economic return on road investments. New evidence from Norway," MPRA Paper 94389, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    electoral rule; rent-seeking; treatment effect; regression discontinuity design; targeted redistribution; politicians;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C20 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - General
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3348. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Holger Hinte). General contact details of provider: http://www.iza.org .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.