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Title:Electoral rules and politicians' behavior: a micro test PDF Logo
Authors:Gagliarducci, Stefano
Nannicini, Tommaso
Naticchioni, Paolo
Issue Date:2008
Series/Report no.:IZA Discussion Papers 3348
Abstract:Theory predicts that the majoritarian electoral system should produce more targeted redistribution and lower politicians' rents than proportional representation. We test these predictions using micro data for the mixed-member Italian House of Representatives, which allow us to sidestep the identification problems of previous studies based on country-level data. In particular, we address the nonrandom selection into different electoral systems by exploiting a distinctive feature of the Italian two-tier elections from 1994 to 2006: candidates could run for both the majoritarian and the proportional tier, but if they won in both tiers they had to accept the majoritarian seat. Focusing on elections decided by a narrow margin allows us to generate quasi-experimental estimates of the impact of the electoral rule. The main results confirm theoretical predictions, as majoritarian representatives put forward a higher proportion of bills targeted at local areas and show lower absenteeism rates than their proportional colleagues.
Subjects:Electoral rule
politicians
targeted redistribution
rent-seeking
regression discontinuity design
treatment effect
JEL:C20
Document Type:Working Paper
Appears in Collections:IZA Discussion Papers, Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit (IZA)

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