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Ideology and cultural policy

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  • Niklas Potrafke

Abstract

By examining voting behavior in a referendum on the construction of a concert hall in Germany, I show that political ideology influences cultural policy. The results suggest that resistance to the concert hall was particularly strong in electoral districts in which majorities of citizens vote for the social democrats. By contrast, constituents of rightwing parties voted more in favor of the project. This voting pattern indicates that cultural policy is ideologyinduced. The direct-democratic vote against the concert hall is not in line with the voting behavior of the representatives in the city council. My findings thus show that the voting behavior of political representatives may be decoupled from the preferences of their constituents even in closely knit jurisdictions in which the principal-agent relationship between voters and representatives is usually thought to favor the principals. Moreover, this decoupling has been documented for a policy issue that does not require substantial information or specialized knowledge to be evaluated but rather voters' decisions are based on ideological convictions.

Suggested Citation

  • Niklas Potrafke, 2010. "Ideology and cultural policy," TWI Research Paper Series 49, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz.
  • Handle: RePEc:twi:respas:0049
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Ideologisk dissonans – et tysk eksempel fra kulturpolitik
      by Christian Bjørnskov in Punditokraterne on 2010-07-22 14:20:14

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    Cited by:

    1. Potrafke, Niklas, 2010. "The growth of public health expenditures in OECD countries: Do government ideology and electoral motives matter?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 797-810, December.
    2. Niklas Potrafke, 2011. "Does government ideology influence budget composition? Empirical evidence from OECD countries," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 101-134, June.
    3. Bernardino Benito & Francisco Bastida & Cristina Vicente, 2013. "Municipal elections and cultural expenditure," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 37(1), pages 3-32, February.
    4. Niklas Potrafke, 2012. "Political cycles and economic performance in OECD countries: empirical evidence from 1951–2006," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 150(1), pages 155-179, January.
    5. Lars Håkonsen & Knut Løyland, 2016. "Local government allocation of cultural services," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 40(4), pages 487-528, November.
    6. Christian Bjørnskov & Niklas Potrafke, 2012. "Political Ideology and Economic Freedom Across Canadian Provinces," Eastern Economic Journal, Palgrave Macmillan;Eastern Economic Association, vol. 38(2), pages 143-166.

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    Keywords

    cultural policy; ideology; partisan politics; referendum; direct democracy;

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