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More federal legislators lead to more resources for their constituencies: Evidence from exogenous differences in seat allocations

Marco Frank and David Stadelmann

Journal of Comparative Economics, 2021, vol. 49, issue 1, 230-243

Abstract: Electoral district magnitude varies across German electoral constituencies and over legislative periods due to Germany's electoral system. The number of seats in parliament per constituency is effectively random. This setting permits us to investigate institutionally driven variations in the magnitude of individual constituencies on the allocation of federal resources to these constituencies. We analyze the causal effect of having more than one federal legislator per constituency on federal government resources by exploiting information from 1,379 constituencies from 1998 to 2017. More federal legislators per constituency lead to statistically significantly more employment of federal civil servants. The size of the effect is large and corresponds to about 3.5% of average employment once a constituency is represented by additional legislators from party lists. Robustness tests support our results. Further evidence points to heterogeneity of the effect: Constituencies represented by additional legislators who are experienced and who are members of larger, competing parties obtain more federal resources.

Keywords: District magnitude; Representation; Fiscal commons; Redistribution (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D72 F50 H41 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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Working Paper: More Federal Legislators Lead to More Resources for Their Constituencies: Evidence from Exogenous Differences in Seat Allocations (2019) Downloads
Working Paper: More federal legislators lead to more resources for their constituencies: Evidence from exogenous differences in seat allocations (2019) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:49:y:2021:i:1:p:230-243

DOI: 10.1016/j.jce.2020.07.008

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