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Love Thy (Elected) Neighbor? Residential Segregation, Political Representation and Local Public Goods

Oskari Harjunen, Tuukka Saarimaa () and Janne Tukiainen ()
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Oskari Harjunen: VATT Institute for Economic Research, Arkadiankatu 7, Helsinki, FI-00101

No 138, Discussion Papers from Aboa Centre for Economics

Abstract: We study geographic political representation and geographic distribution of local public goods within local jurisdictions using geo-coded data on politicians, the electorate and elementary schools. Descriptive analysis reveals that poorer neighborhoods are under-represented and that local politicians have a strong support base in their home neighbourhoods. Based on randomized election outcomes due to personal vote count ties, geographic representation has a causal effect on school closures. The probability of closure is cut in half when a candidate living close to the school is randomly elected. High-income residents react to closures by moving away from the neighborhood, thus reinforcing segregation.

Keywords: Geographic representation; random elections; residential segregation; school closure (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C21 D72 H75 R23 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 53
Date: 2021-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eur, nep-pol and nep-ure
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