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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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  8. La Ferrara, Eliana & Alesina, Alberto, 2000. "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," Scholarly Articles 4551796, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  17. Torsten Persson & Gerard Roland & Guido Tabellini, 2006. "Electoral Rules and Government Spending in Parliamentary Democracies," Levine's Working Paper Archive 321307000000000706, David K. Levine.
  18. Aidt, T.S. & Dutta, Jayasri & Loukoianova, Elena, 2006. "Democracy comes to Europe: Franchise extension and fiscal outcomes 1830-1938," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 249-283, February.
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  20. Jessica Seddon Wallack & Alejandro Gaviria & Ugo Panizza & Ernesto H. Stein, 2002. "Political Particularism around the World," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 6494, Inter-American Development Bank.
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