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Ideology in times of crisis A principal component analysis of votes in the European Parliament, 2004-2019

Anatole Cheysson () and Nicolò Fraccaroli
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Anatole Cheysson: European University Institute

No 461, CEIS Research Paper from Tor Vergata University, CEIS

Abstract: This paper aims to identify the main dividing lines that determine the voting behaviour of Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and their evolution throughout the crisis. Introducing a new database that collects and classifies the full population of plenary votes from 2004 to 2019, this work uses principal component analysis to identify the latent patterns on which MEPs ally and divide. Focussing on economic votes, it finds that, while pre-crisis votes were mainly determined by differences across the left-vs-right spectrum and, only secondly, by differences in support for European integration, the crisis inverted this trend, making support for Europe the most relevant dividing line in the European Parliament. In support of this evidence, the paper introduces a new vote-scraping technique to investigate the ideological nature of these dimensions. Vote scraping reveals that the left-right cleavage is mainly ideological but with limited impact on budgetary resources, whereas the European dimension mostly reflects a conflict over the budget, with higher legislative impact and seemingly low ideological content.

Keywords: Ideology; European Parliament; Crisis (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C38 P16 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 34 pages
Date: 2019-06-28, Revised 2019-06-28
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm and nep-eec
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (2)

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