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Ideology, Nationalism, and Identity in Basque Regional Elections

Listed author(s):
  • Stephen Ansolabehere

    ()

    (Government Department, Harvard University)

  • M. Socorro Puy

    ()

    (Department of Economic Theory, Universidad de Málaga)

Parliamentary elections to the Basque Autonomous Community have a stable multi-party system that regularly produces long-lived minority and coalition governments. More amazing still, this stable party system arises in the context of a complex social and political setting in which the society cleaves along at least two lines -- left-right ideology and nationalism – and in which people have strong identities tied to the Basque language and culture. This paper analyzes voting behavior in parliamentary elections in this region to understand how the left-right ideology, nationalism, and identity sustain this party system. We extend the conventional spatial voting model to incorporate identity issues. Our empirical analysis shows that left-right ideology, nationalism (or regional autonomy) and identity strongly predict vote choice. Interestingly, the analysis suggests that identity politics both polarizes voting and sustains a stable multi-party system.

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File URL: http://webdeptos.uma.es/THEconomica/malagawpseries/Papers/METCwp2015-2.pdf
File Function: First version, 2015
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Universidad de Málaga, Department of Economic Theory, Málaga Economic Theory Research Center in its series Working Papers with number 2015-02.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2015
Handle: RePEc:mal:wpaper:2015-2
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Web page: http://webdeptos.uma.es/THEconomica/malagawpseries/METC.html
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  1. Daniel Diermeier & Hulya Eraslan & Antonio Merlo, 2003. "A Structural Model of Government Formation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 27-70, January.
  2. Alberto Bisin & Thierry Verdier, 2000. ""Beyond the Melting Pot": Cultural Transmission, Marriage, and the Evolution of Ethnic and Religious Traits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 955-988.
  3. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics and Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753.
  4. Alberto Abadie & Javier Gardeazabal, 2003. "The Economic Costs of Conflict: A Case Study of the Basque Country," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 113-132, March.
  5. Aragones, Enriqueta & Palfrey, Thomas R., 2002. "Mixed Equilibrium in a Downsian Model with a Favored Candidate," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 131-161, March.
  6. David P. Baron & Daniel Diermeier, 2001. "Elections, Governments, and Parliaments in Proportional Representation Systems," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(3), pages 933-967.
  7. Ansolabehere, Stephen & Snyder, James M, Jr, 2000. "Valence Politics and Equilibrium in Spatial Election Models," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 103(3-4), pages 327-336, June.
  8. Francesco Sinopoli & Giovanna Iannantuoni, 2008. "Extreme voting under proportional representation: the multidimensional case," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 30(3), pages 401-417, April.
  9. Oriol Aspachs-Bracons & Irma Clots-Figueras & Joan Costa-Font & Paolo Masella, 2008. "Compulsory Language Educational Policies and Identity Formation," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(2-3), pages 434-444, 04-05.
  10. Myerson, Roger B., 1999. "Theoretical comparisons of electoral systems," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 671-697, April.
  11. Yan Chen & Sherry Xin Li, 2009. "Group Identity and Social Preferences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 431-457, March.
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