Redistribution and Reelection under Proportional Representation: The Postwar Italian Chamber of Deputies
Miriam Golden () and
MPRA Paper from University Library of Munich, Germany
We study incumbency advantage and the electoral returns to pork and patronage over ten legislative periods from 1948 to 1992 for two political parties — the Christian Democrats (DC) and the Italian Socialist Party (PSI) — in Italy’s lower house of representatives, the Chamber of Deputies. Adapting a regression discontinuity design to Italy’s open-list system of proportional representation, we show that parliament comprised two groups: a small elite, whose members enjoyed an incumbency advantage, and the average deputy, who benefitted from no such incumbency advantage. Elite legislators affiliated with Italy’s two main parties of government received significantly more preference votes when pork and patronage were steered to their districts, although the effect is small. We interpret this to indicate that their incumbency advantage was linked to their ability to claim credit for these allocations. We also show that the two parties won more list votes when districts received more resources and that when districts received more resources, the abilities of these parties to persuade their electors to use preference votes improved. This form of electoral mobilization, in turn, enlarged the number of ministerial positions secured by the district. Our analysis depicts a political environment severely segmented between a small, powerful elite group of deputies and backbenchers.
Keywords: incumbency effect; distributive politics; patronage; proportional representation; Italy; regression discontinuity (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C14 H11 H41 H83 H76 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm, nep-his and nep-pol
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (2) Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/29956/1/MPRA_paper_29956.pdf original version (application/pdf)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:pra:mprapa:29956
Access Statistics for this paper
More papers in MPRA Paper from University Library of Munich, Germany Ludwigstraße 33, D-80539 Munich, Germany. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Joachim Winter ().