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Do political parties matter? Endogenous fragmentation, partisanship, and local public expenditures in Finland

Benoît LE Maux, Kristýna Dostálová and Antti Moisio
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Benoît LE Maux: University of Rennes 1, CREM-CNRS, Condorcet Center for Political Economy, France
Kristýna Dostálová: University of Rennes 1, CREM-CNRS, France

Economics Working Paper from Condorcet Center for political Economy at CREM-CNRS from Condorcet Center for political Economy

Abstract: Both the Weak Government Hypothesis and the Partisan Theory state that institutional settings are sufficiently permissive to allow elected politicians to maximize their own utility at the expense of citizens’ preferences. We test this statement using data on Finnish local public expenditures. One important point is that the composition of the government can be explained by the hetero-geneity of voters’ preferences, hence the need for appropriate techniques to control for a potential selection bias. Using propensity score matching (PSM) methods, we demonstrate that neither the Weak Government Hypothesis nor the Partisan Theory provide an explanation of public spending differences. What appears to be the influence of government composition is in fact shown to be a demand driven process.

Keywords: Political fragmentation; Partisan effects; Local expenditures; Propensity score matching (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H72 H40 D72 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm and nep-pol
Date: 2017-01
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:tut:cccrwp:2017-02-ccr

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