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Local Economic Impacts of Legislative Malapportionment

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  • Masami Imai

    (Department of Economics, Wesleyan University)

Abstract

Malapportionment is a highly contested, and yet common feature of electoral systems in many countries where more delegates are granted to rural and low-income regions. In Japan, an electoral reform equalized the geographical distribution of representation for the 1996 Lower House election. We use this episode as a quasi-experiment to investigate local economic impacts of malapportionment. We find that an additional representation expands local governments’ fiscal space. However, over-represented communities don’t benefit from fiscal windfalls due to crowding-out effects. It creates more construction/public sector jobs, but its positive effects are entirely offset by comparable losses of jobs in other sectors.

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  • Masami Imai, 2020. "Local Economic Impacts of Legislative Malapportionment," Wesleyan Economics Working Papers 2020-002, Wesleyan University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:wes:weswpa:2020-002
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