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Intra-party politics and interest groups: missing links in explaining government effectiveness

Andrea Ceron (), Luigi Curini and Fedra Negri
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Andrea Ceron: Università degli Studi di Milano
Luigi Curini: Università degli Studi di Milano
Fedra Negri: Università degli Studi di Milano

Public Choice, 2019, vol. 180, issue 3, No 10, 407-427

Abstract: Abstract The article sheds light on two missing links in the existing literature on government’s policy preferences and policy choices, namely the roles played by party factions and trade unions as political actors able to affect government’s decision-making power. The content analysis of a wide typology of documents (i.e., investiture speeches, parliamentary debates, motions discussed during parties’ and trade unions’ congresses) allows to locate cabinets, parties, party factions and trade unions on a common pro-state/pro-market scale. Using these new data sources, we perform a multivariate time-series analysis to estimate the relative impact of those political actors on social expenditure in Italy throughout its modern history (1946–2015). The results support the idea that intra-party dynamics and trade unions’ preferences do matter. Indeed, government’s ability to retrench the welfare state vanishes when the Prime Minister’s party is highly polarized internally and when trade unions are more cohesive.

Keywords: Government partisanship; Intra-party politics; Trade unions; Parliamentary speeches; Social expenditure (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D72 E62 H53 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1007/s11127-019-00644-0

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