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Dancing with the Populist: New Parties, Electoral Rules and Italian Municipal Elections

Massimo Bordignon () and Tommaso Colussi ()
Additional contact information
Tommaso Colussi: Catholic University Milan

No 13775, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: This paper develops a theoretical framework that makes predictions on (a) the conditions under which a populist party decides to run and the policy position it takes and (b) voters' response under different electoral systems. We test these predictions using data on Italian municipal elections over the 2009-2019 period and focusing on the electoral outcomes of the Five Star Movement. The empirical analysis shows: (i) populists are more likely to run under a Dual Ballot (DB) system and in municipalities where there is a large share of dissatisfied voters; (ii) when the populist runs, turnout increases under both Single and Dual Ballot systems; (iii) in a DB system, the populist candidate who ranked second in the first round has a higher probability of winning than the candidate of traditional party who ranked second by the same margin, as a result of increased turnout in the second round. We finally provide evidence that the low education and the young age of populist candidates are likely to deteriorate the efficiency of the local administration.

Keywords: voting behavior; populism; Five Star Movement; municipal elections (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D72 D74 D91 H56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 70 pages
Date: 2020-10
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-soc
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (4) Track citations by RSS feed

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Related works:
Working Paper: Dancing with the Populist. New Parties, Electoral Rules and Italian Municipal Elections (2020) Downloads
Working Paper: Dancing with the Populist. New Parties, Electoral Rules and Italian Municipal Elections (2020) Downloads
Working Paper: Dancing with the Populist. New Parties, Electoral Rules and Italian Municipal Elections (2020) Downloads
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