Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/88566
Authors: 
Baskaran, Thushyanthan
da Fonseca, Mariana Lopes
Year of Publication: 
2013
Series/Report no.: 
Discussion Papers, Center for European Governance and Economic Development Research 177
Abstract: 
In 2001, the state parliament of the German federal state of Hesse abolished a 5 percent legal electoral threshold for local elections. This reform had a stronger effect on municipalities with larger councils because implicit electoral thresholds decrease with council size. Exploiting discontinuities in a state law that exogenously maps population to council size, we implement a difference in discontinuity design to study the political consequences of abolishing an electoral threshold. The dataset covers all 426 Hessian municipalities over the period 1989-2011. Our results suggest that the seat and vote shares of small parties increased in municipalities that were affected more strongly by the abolishment. In addition, municipalit ies exposed to stronger treatments reduced their council size, presumably to limit political competition.
Subjects: 
electoral rules
electoral thresholds
voting
JEL: 
D70
D72
D78
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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