Parliamentary election outcomes in the Netherlands during 1981-2010: Have they become more determined by regional than national (economic) performance?
Parliamentary election outcomes have recently shifted significantly in some small open economies with high living standards. As regional differences widened, this study goes down to the regional level and investigates whether or not regional factors have been driving the election outcomes. An econometric model is designed explaining the election outcomes of the left-wing, middle and right-wing parties per municipality by latent variables at the country and regional levels. A panel of ten Parliamentary election outcomes of municipalities in the Netherlands during the period 1981-2010 is used to calculate the sizes of the national and regional factors' impact in three steps. First, principal component analyses are applied to measure the latent variables. Second, the econometric model is estimated by Seemingly Unrelated Regressions. Third, the responses of the election outcomes per party in reaction to country and regional shocks are simulated. The results indicate that regional factors have indeed determined election outcomes more than national factors in the period 2002-2010 in comparison with the period 1982-1994 for the left-wing, the middle and also the right-wing parties. Part of the explanation comes from regional differences in unemployment, demographic developments (greenness and greyness) and committed crimes.
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