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Electoral Rules and Politicians’ Behavior: A Micro Test

Stefano Gagliarducci (), Tommaso Nannicini () and Paolo Naticchioni ()

No 3348, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: Theory predicts that the majoritarian electoral system should produce more targeted redistribution and lower politicians’ rents than proportional representation. We test these predictions using micro data for the mixed-member Italian House of Representatives, which allow us to sidestep the identification problems of previous studies based on country-level data. In particular, we address the nonrandom selection into different electoral systems by exploiting a distinctive feature of the Italian two-tier elections from 1994 to 2006: candidates could run for both the majoritarian and the proportional tier, but if they won in both tiers they had to accept the majoritarian seat. Focusing on elections decided by a narrow margin allows us to generate quasi-experimental estimates of the impact of the electoral rule. The main results confirm theoretical predictions, as majoritarian representatives put forward a higher proportion of bills targeted at local areas and show lower absenteeism rates than their proportional colleagues.

Keywords: electoral rule; rent-seeking; treatment effect; regression discontinuity design; targeted redistribution; politicians (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C20 D72 D78 P16 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 38 pages
Date: 2008-02
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm and nep-pol
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (40) Track citations by RSS feed

Published in: American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 2011, 3 (3), 144-174

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Related works:
Journal Article: Electoral Rules and Politicians' Behavior: A Micro Test (2011) Downloads
Working Paper: Electoral Rules and Politicians’ Behavior: A Micro Test (2007) Downloads
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