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Polarization in Parliamentary Speech

Jon Fiva (), Oda Nedregård and Henning Øien

No 8818, CESifo Working Paper Series from CESifo

Abstract: We study political polarization in a parliamentary setting dominated by strong parties. In addition to examining polarization along the left-right dimension, we consider political divergence between legislators belonging to the same political bloc. Are politicians’ background characteristics unimportant when parties have powerful tools to discipline their rank-and-file? We investigate this question using legislative speech from the Norwegian Parliament and recently developed techniques for measuring group differences in high-dimensional choices. Across the background characteristics we consider — gender, age, urbanicity, and class background — we document substantial differences in speech, even when comparing legislators from the same party bloc and policy committee. Our results illuminate how individual legislators shape policymaking in party-centered environments.

Keywords: political polarization; text analysis; penalized logistic regression (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D72 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm and nep-pol
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