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Electoral competition and political selection: An analysis of the activity of French deputies, 1958-2012

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  • Nicolas GAVOILLE

    (Stockholm School of Economics in Riga, Latvia - Condorcet Center, University Rennes 1, France)

  • Marijn VERSCHELDE

    (EISEG School of Management, Department of Economics and Quantitative Methods, France, and Center for Economic Studies, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium)

Abstract

In this paper, we study the relation between electoral competition and po-litical selection, using a unique dataset containing detailed yearly information about members of the French National Assembly from 1958 to 2012. First, we innovate by using activity as a proxy for politicians’ quality. As we gathered information on the many aspects of deputies’ individual work, we use a non-parametric composite indicator of deputy activity that fully acknowledges the multidimensional nature of parliamentary work. Second, we do not impose any assumption about the relationship between electoral competition and political selection by using a fully nonparametric framework. Third, this method allows studying the evolution of the relationship between electoral competition and political selection over time. Overall, our results show that deputies elected in apriori contested districts have a higher overall activity, with the intensity of this relationship reaching its peak in the 80’s but constantly decreasing since then.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicolas GAVOILLE & Marijn VERSCHELDE, 2016. "Electoral competition and political selection: An analysis of the activity of French deputies, 1958-2012," Economics Working Paper from Condorcet Center for political Economy at CREM-CNRS 2016-02-ccr, Condorcet Center for political Economy.
  • Handle: RePEc:tut:cccrwp:2016-02-ccr
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    Cited by:

    1. Gavoille, Nicolas, 2018. "Who are the ‘ghost’ MPs? Evidence from the French parliament," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 134-148.
    2. Kauder Björn & Potrafke Niklas, 2019. "Conservative Politicians and Voting on Same-sex Marriage," German Economic Review, De Gruyter, vol. 20(4), pages 600-617, December.
    3. Bose, Paul, 2021. "Political (self-)selection and competition: Evidence from U.S. Congressional elections," VfS Annual Conference 2021 (Virtual Conference): Climate Economics 242377, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    4. Marco Frank & David Stadelmann, 2021. "Political competition and legislative shirking in roll-call votes: Evidence from Germany for 1953–2017," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 189(3), pages 555-575, December.
    5. Caroline Le Pennec, 2020. "Strategic Campaign Communication: Evidence from 30,000 Candidate Manifestos," SoDa Laboratories Working Paper Series 2020-05, Monash University, SoDa Laboratories.
    6. Nicolas Gavoille, 2021. "Pay for politicians and campaign spending: evidence from the French municipal elections," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 188(3), pages 455-477, September.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Competition; Election; Political Selection; Kernel Regression; Nonparametric Econometrics;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • J45 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Public Sector Labor Markets
    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General

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