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An economic explanation of the nationalization of electoral politics

Ignacio Lago and Santiago Lago-Peñas

No 1602, Working Papers. Collection A: Public economics, governance and decentralization from Universidade de Vigo, GEN - Governance and Economics research Network

Abstract: The literature on the nationalization of electoral politics focuses on the institutional characteristics of political regimes and the structure and organization of social cleavages. We argue that the nationalization of electoral politics is also driven by economic performance. Short-term economic perturbations increase vote transfers from large (and highly nationalized) parties to small (and weakly nationalized) parties. On the contrary, sharp improvements in economic performance may generate vote shifts towards large parties, and then nationalization should increase. Permissive electoral systems exacerbate the influence of economic performance on nationalization. Pooled cross-sectional time-series regression analysis is conducted on data from 43 countries and 475 elections between 1950 and 2012. The party-level mechanisms are shown through a closer look at Austria and Portugal.

Keywords: Cleavages; decentralization; economic voting; electoral system; nationalization. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H70 H71 H72 H73 H74 H77 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 25 pages
Date: 2016-03
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-fdg and nep-pub
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http://infogen.webs.uvigo.es/WP/WP1602.pdf First version, 2016 (application/pdf)

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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:gov:wpaper:1602

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