Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/128334
Authors: 
Witte, Kristof De
Geys, Benny
Year of Publication: 
2015
Series/Report no.: 
CESifo Working Paper 5639
Abstract: 
We analyse whether, when and how local office-holders respond to the personal, economic incentives embedded in exogenously imposed population thresholds leading to an increased number and/or remuneration of local office-holders. Using data from all 589 Belgian municipalities over the period 1977-2014, local politicians are found to purposefully influence population growth through policy measures aimed at stimulating net in-migration when approaching important population thresholds. We provide evidence that strategic housing policy decisions – i.e. granting additional building permits early in the election cycle to maximize population growth just before the ‘deadline’ to surpass a population threshold – act as a key mechanism.
Subjects: 
rent-seeking
political agency
regression discontinuity designs
building permits
JEL: 
H70
J18
R23
R38
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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