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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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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Martins, Rodrigo & Veiga, Francisco José, 2014. "Does voter turnout affect the votes for the incumbent government?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, pages 274-286.
    2. Lo Prete, Anna & Revelli, Federico, 2014. "Voter Turnout and City Performance," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201435, University of Turin.
    3. Persson, Lovisa, 2013. "Consumption smoothing in a balanced budget regime," Working Paper Series, Center for Fiscal Studies 2013:12, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    4. Federico Revelli, 2013. "Tax limits and local democracy," Working Papers 2013/29, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    5. Parinduri, Rasyad, 2016. "Does education increase political participation? Evidence from Indonesia," MPRA Paper 70326, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Mark Hallerberg & Carlos Scartascini, 2011. "Economic Crisis and Fiscal Reforms in Latin America," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 3092, Inter-American Development Bank.
    7. De Paola, Maria & Scoppa, Vincenzo & De Benedetto, Marco Alberto, 2014. "The impact of gender quotas on electoral participation: Evidence from Italian municipalities," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 141-157.
    8. Chyi-Lu Jang & Chun-Ping Chang, 2016. "Vote Buying and Victory of Election: The Case of Taiwan," Prague Economic Papers, University of Economics, Prague, pages 591-606.
    9. Lorenzo Cicatiello & Salvatore Ercolano & Giuseppe Gaeta, 2015. "Income distribution and political participation: a multilevel analysis," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, pages 447-479.
    10. Engelhardt, Carina & Wagener, Andreas, 2017. "The income distribution of voters: a case study from Germany," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-586, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
    11. Caruso, Germán & Scartascini, Carlos & Tommasi, Mariano, 2015. "Are we all playing the same game? The economic effects of constitutions depend on the degree of institutionalization," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 212-228.
    12. Jo Thori Lind, 2014. "Rainy Day Politics - An Instrumental Variables Approach to the Effect of Parties on Political Outcomes," CESifo Working Paper Series 4911, CESifo Group Munich.
    13. Christian Ebeke & Thierry Yogo Urbain, 2013. "Working Paper 185 - Remittances and the Voter Turnout in Sub-Saharan Africa: Evidence from Macro and Micro Level Data," Working Paper Series 989, African Development Bank.
    14. Garmann, Sebastian, 2017. "Election frequency, choice fatigue, and voter turnout," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 19-35.
    15. Aggeborn, Linuz, 2013. "Voter Turnout and the Size of Government," Working Paper Series, Center for Fiscal Studies 2013:14, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    16. Estevan, Fernanda, 2013. "The impact of conditional cash transfers on public education expenditures: A political economy approach," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 268-284.
    17. Stadelmann, David & Portmann, Marco & Eichenberger, Reiner, 2014. "The law of large districts: How district magnitude affects the quality of political representation," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 128-140.
    18. Al-Ississ, Mohamad & Atallah, Samer, 2015. "Patronage and ideology in electoral behavior: Evidence from Egypt's first presidential elections," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 241-248.
    19. Mariano Tommasi & Germán Caruso & Carlos Scartascini, 2014. "Are We Playing the Same Game? The Economic Effects of Constitutions Depend on the Degree of Institutionalization," Working Papers 116, Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia, revised Dec 2014.
    20. Aggeborn, Linuz, 2016. "Voter turnout and the size of government," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 29-40.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Electoral rule; form of government; voter participation; policy outcomes;

    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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