nep-pol New Economics Papers
on Positive Political Economics
Issue of 2005‒12‒01
seven papers chosen by
Eugene Beaulieu
University of Calgary

  1. Playing for Your Own Audience: Extremism in Two-Party Elections By Gabor Virag
  2. Migration and the Welfare State: The Economic Power of the Non-Voter? By Boerner, Kira; Uebelmesser, Silke
  3. Economic Outcomes and the Decision to Vote: The Effect of Randomized School Admissions on Voter Participation By Justine S. Hastings; Thomas J. Kane; Douglas O. Staiger; Jeffrey M. Weinstein
  4. Inefficiency in Legislative Policy-Making: A Dynamic Analysis By Stephen Coate; Marco Battaglini
  5. Sons of Something: Taxes, Lawsuits and Local Political Control in Sixteenth Century Castile By Mauricio Drelichman
  6. Will political liberalisation bring about financial development? By Yongfu Huang
  7. Group Formation and Voter Participation By Cesar Martinelli; Helios Herrera

  1. By: Gabor Virag (Economics University of Rochester)
    Keywords: political extremism, two-party elections, media bias
    JEL: D72
    Date: 2005
  2. By: Boerner, Kira; Uebelmesser, Silke
    Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of emigration on the political choice regarding the size of the welfare state. Mobility has two countervailing effects: the political participation effect and the tax base effect. With emigration, the composition of the constituency changes. This increases the political influence of the less mobile part of the population. The new political majority has to take into account that emigration reduces tax revenues and thereby affects the feasible set of redistribution policies. The interaction of the two e¤ects has so far not been analyzed in isolation. We find that the direction of the total e¤ect of migration depends on the initial income distribution in the economy. Our results also contribute to the empirical debate on the validity of the median-voter approach for explaining the relation between income inequality and redistribution levels.
    JEL: D72 D31 H50 F22
  3. By: Justine S. Hastings; Thomas J. Kane; Douglas O. Staiger; Jeffrey M. Weinstein
    Abstract: We provide empirical evidence on the determinants of voter turnout using the random assignment of economic outcomes to potential voters generated by a school choice lottery. This is the first paper to use random assignment of real outcomes resulting from a policy experiment to understand the factors that influence voter turnout. We show that school lottery losers are significantly more likely to vote in the ensuing school board election than lottery winners. The asymmetric effect increases with income and past election participation. The results support a model of 'expressive' voting where negative economic outcomes increase the probability of voting. Such results may account for loss minimizing behavior by public officials, particularly for voters in middle and higher income neighborhoods.
    JEL: D72 I28
    Date: 2005–11
  4. By: Stephen Coate; Marco Battaglini (Economics Princeton University)
    Keywords: political economy
    Date: 2005
  5. By: Mauricio Drelichman
    Keywords: sixteenth century, Castile, Spain, nobility, rent seeking, local government, litigation
    JEL: N0 N4
    Date: 2005
  6. By: Yongfu Huang
    Abstract: This paper studies the e¤ect of political liberalisation on financial development in two steps. First, the paper examines whether political liberalisation in terms of institutional improvement promotes financial development, using a panel dataset of 90 developed and developing countries over 1960-99. The empirical evidence reveals a positive effect on financial development at least in the short-run, particularly for lower-income countries, ethnically divided countries and French legal origin countries. In the second part of the paper, a before-after event study approach is used to explore the impact of democratic transitions on financial development. It indicates that a democratic transformation is typically followed by an increase in financial development.
    Keywords: Political liberalisation; Financial development.
    JEL: G20 O16 O17
    Date: 2005–11
  7. By: Cesar Martinelli; Helios Herrera (CIE Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico)
    Keywords: Voter's Paradox, Endogenous Leaders
    JEL: D72
    Date: 2005

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