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Do direct elections matter? Quasi-experimental evidence from Germany

Stefanie Gaebler () and Felix Roesel ()
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Stefanie Gaebler: ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich

Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: Stefanie Gäbler ()

International Tax and Public Finance, 2019, vol. 26, issue 6, No 8, 1416-1445

Abstract: Abstract We estimate the causal effect of direct elections on the economic performance of politicians. Candidates running in direct elections to head local governments in the German state of Brandenburg need an absolute majority, and votes for the winner must represent at least 15% of eligible voters. If the quorum is not reached, direct elections are suspended, and local councils appoint the head of government. We examine election outcomes around the quorum, where the form of government is arguably exogenous. Event study results show that the public employment service becomes somewhat more effective under directly elected politicians. However, directly elected politicians do not seem to attract more businesses or expedite administrative acts.

Keywords: Direct elections; Constitutions; Government form; Local government; Economic performance; Public services; Germany (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D72 H40 H75 R50 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1007/s10797-019-09539-8

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