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Political Institutions, Voter Turnout and Policy Outcomes

  • Eileen Fumagalli

    ()

    (IEFE - Bocconi University)

  • Gaia Narciso

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Trinity College Dublin)

The impact of political institutions on policy outcomes has gained much attention in the literature over the last years. The aim of this paper is to test whether the impact of constitutions on economic outcomes is direct. By introducing citizens' political participation, rather than politicians' incentives, as the driving force connecting institutions to policy outcomes, we empirically show that voter turnout is the channel through which forms of government affect economic policies. We provide evidence of the existence of two relationships. First, presidential regimes appear to be related to lower voter participation in national elections. Second, higher voter participation induces an increase in government expenditure, total revenues, welfare state spending, and budget deficit. We conclude that forms of government affect policy outcomes only through voter turnout.

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File URL: https://www.tcd.ie/Economics/TEP/2011/TEP0211.pdf
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Paper provided by Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics in its series Trinity Economics Papers with number tep0211.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:tcd:tcduee:tep0211
Contact details of provider: Postal: Trinity College, Dublin 2
Phone: (+ 353 1) 6081325
Fax: 6772503
Web page: http://www.tcd.ie/Economics/

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  18. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2000. "Participation In Heterogeneous Communities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 847-904, August.
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  21. TokeS. Aidt & Martin Daunton & Jayasri Dutta, 2010. "The Retrenchment Hypothesis and the Extension of the Franchise in England and Wales," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(547), pages 990-1020, 09.
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