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Local governments' re-election and its determinants: New evidence based on a Bayesian approach

Maria Teresa Balaguer-Coll, María Isabel Brun-Martos, Anabel Forte and Emili Tortosa-Ausina

European Journal of Political Economy, 2015, vol. 39, issue C, 94-108

Abstract: We analyzed the effect of public spending on the probability of re-election of Spanish local governments during the 2000–2007 period using Bayesian techniques. Although the literature on political budget cycles is now fairly large, few contributions have explicitly analyzed the determinants of re-election. The use of Bayesian techniques in this context is particularly interesting because, unlike most previous studies, results are not presented as a summary effect such as the average. Rather, our findings show exactly how a given covariate affects the probability of being re-elected. We find that, in general, increases in local government spending positively impact on local governments' chances of re-election. Moreover, the capital expenditure over the whole term positively affects the re-election probability, although the pre-electoral capital expenditure has a stronger effect on the chances of re-election. We also find that the electorate only rewards increases in current expenditures made in the pre-election period.

Keywords: Bayesian; Election; Expenditures; Local government; Opportunistic policies (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D60 H71 H72 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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