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The Effects of Social Capital on Government Performance and Turnover: Theory and Evidence from Italian Municipalities

Emanuele Bracco (), Federica Liberini, Ben Lockwood, Francesco Porcelli, Michela Redoano and Daniel Sgroi
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Federica Liberini: University of Bath
Ben Lockwood: University of Warwick
Francesco Porcelli: ESRC CAGE Centre & Universita di Bari
Michela Redoano: University of Warwick

QAPEC Discussion Papers from Quantitative and Analytical Political Economy Research Centre

Abstract: This paper makes three contributions. First, it presents a theoretical analysis of how social capital, formalized as trust in politicians, impacts on government performance and turnover, employing a political agency model with both moral hazard and adverse selection. Second, it presents novel measures of both local government performance and on social capital at the Italian municipality level, using administrative data and an online survey respectively. Third, empirical results are consistent with the main predictions of the theory; higher social capital improves both the discipline and selection effects of elections (performance both in the first and final terms in office), but also increases turnover of incumbent mayors.

Keywords: Social Capital; Voting; Elections; Government Efficiency JEL Classification: H41; H72; D72 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-pol, nep-soc and nep-ure
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