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Political Institutions, Voter Turnout and Policy Outcomes

Author

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  • Eileen Fumagalli

    (IEFE - Bocconi University)

  • Gaia Narciso

    (Department of Economics, Trinity College Dublin)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Eileen Fumagalli & Gaia Narciso, 2011. "Political Institutions, Voter Turnout and Policy Outcomes," Trinity Economics Papers tep0211, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:tcd:tcduee:tep0211
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Electoral rule; form of government; voter participation; policy outcomes;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General
    • H00 - Public Economics - - General - - - General

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