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Concurrent Elections and Political Accountability: Evidence from Italian Local Elections

Emanuele Bracco () and Federico Revelli ()

No 170337308, Working Papers from Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department

Abstract: This paper analyses the effects of holding concurrent elections in multi-tiered government structures on turnout decision and voting behaviour, based on municipal and provincial electoral data from Italy during the 2000s. When the less-salient provincial elections are held concurrently with the highly salient municipal elections, we observe three main effects: (1) turnout increases significantly by almost ten percentage points; (2) issues that are specific of the more salient (mayoral) contest affect the less salient (provincial) contest, with mayors' fiscal decisions impacting on the vote share of provincial incumbents; (3) issues that are specific to the less salient (provincial) contest stop affecting provincial elections outcomes. These findings shed light on how voters acquire information on incumbent politicians, and proves that the effectiveness of an election as an accountability tool may be hindered by the concurrence with higher-stakes elections.

Keywords: concurrent elections; turnout; political accountability; local elections; coat-tails (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D70 H70 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm, nep-pol and nep-ure
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http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/media/lancaster-univers ... casterWP2017_013.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
Journal Article: Concurrent elections and political accountability: Evidence from Italian local elections (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: Concurrent Elections and Political Accountability: Evidence from Italian Local Elections (2017) Downloads
Working Paper: Concurrent Elections and Political Accountability: Evidence from Italian Local Elections (2017) Downloads
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