nep-pol New Economics Papers
on Positive Political Economics
Issue of 2014‒06‒07
eight papers chosen by
Eugene Beaulieu
University of Calgary

  1. New Political Issues, Niche Parties, And Spatial Voting In Multiparty Systems: Immigration As A Dimension Of Electoral Competition In Scandinavia By Kirill Zhirkov
  2. Changes in the Eternal City: Inequalities, commons, and elections in Rome districts from 2000 to 2013 By Tomassi, Federico
  3. Does Political Reservation for Minorities Affect Child Labor? Evidence from India By Kaletski, Elizabeth; Prakash, Nishith
  4. Economic Beliefs and Party Preference By Michael W.M. Roos; Andreas Orland
  5. What Accounts for the Union Member Advantage in Voter Turnout? Evidence from the European Union, 2002-2008 By Dr Alex Bryson
  6. Vietnam’s political economy: a discussion on the 1986-2016 period By Quan Hoang Vuong
  7. The Political Economy of Tax Incentives for Investment in the Dominican Republic: “Doctoring the Ball” By Christian Daude; Hamlet Gutiérrez; Ángel Melguizo
  8. WHY MY PARTICIPATION MATTERS: Rent-seeking with endogenous prize determination By Klarizze Anne Puzon; Marc Willinger

  1. By: Kirill Zhirkov (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: In the present study I use spatial voting model to assess the importance of the left-right and immigration issue dimensions on electoral behavior in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. My findings indicate that distances between parties and voters on both left-right and immigration dimensions do significantly influence voting choice in all three countries, although effect of the latter is substantially lower. I also demonstrate that voting for the niche parties, and especially for the radical right, is much stronger related to the immigration issue than voting for the mainstream parties, both center-left and center-right ones. Finally, my analysis demonstrates that positional spatial voting model shows a good degree of stability even under imperfect measurement of policy preferences. In conclusion, I discuss implications of my findings for the research on new political issues and niche parties
    Keywords: spatial voting, left-right, immigration, Scandinavia
    JEL: Z
    Date: 2014
  2. By: Tomassi, Federico
    Abstract: In city districts in Rome, social and economic inequalities between centre and peripheral belts have been increasing over the last years, in parallel to the on-going suburban sprawl. Electoral data from 2000 to 2013 highlight sharp political polarization too. Votes for left-wing (right-wing) candidates are directly (inversely) proportional to proximity to Capitoline Hill. Left-wing coalition prevails where social centrality exists, that is in dense districts with widespread social relationships and many public or collective places. Conversely, right-wing parties prevail in far-off sprawled areas, with less opportunities to meet each other, where production and consumption of relational goods are less likely. Since such goods – according to scholars of civil economics – foster individual well-being and local development, they also affect political choices, challenging the so-called traditional ‘red belt’ in working-class districts until the 1980s.
    Keywords: City planning; commons; elections; Italy; relational goods; social capital
    JEL: H41 R14 Z13
    Date: 2014–05–30
  3. By: Kaletski, Elizabeth (University of Connecticut); Prakash, Nishith (University of Connecticut)
    Abstract: This paper examines the impact of state level political reservation for two minority groups – Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes – on child labor in India. We estimate the effect of political reservation on child labor by exploiting the state variation in the share of seats reserved for the two groups in state legislative assemblies mandated by the Constitution of India. Using data from state and household level surveys on fifteen major Indian states, we find that at the household level, Schedule Tribe reservation decreases the incidence of child labor, while Scheduled Caste reservation increases the total number of children working. Our results survive a variety of robustness checks and potential explanations for the differential impact of SC and ST political reservation are also explored, including geographic isolation, caste fragmentation, support for the Congress Party, and decentralization of power.
    Keywords: affirmative action, minorities, child labor, India
    JEL: I38 J15 J22 J78
    Date: 2014–05
  4. By: Michael W.M. Roos; Andreas Orland
    Abstract: This paper reports the results of a questionnaire study used to explore the economic understanding, normative positions along the egalitarian-libertarian spectrum, and the party preferences of a large student sample. The aim of the study is both to find socio-economic determinants of normative and positive beliefs and to explore how beliefs about the economy influence party support. We find that positive beliefs of lay people differ systematically from those of economic experts. Positive beliefs can be explained by high school grades, field of study, reasons for the choice of subject, personality traits, and – in part – by gender. Normative beliefs are self-serving in the sense that students whose father have high-status jobs and who seek high incomes are more libertarian than others. Party preferences are explained by the professional status of the father, religion, gender, and economic beliefs. Normative beliefs are more important for party support than positive beliefs. While there is a clear positive relation between libertarianism and support for right-leaning parties, positive beliefs only matter for some parties. A parochialism bias in positive beliefs seems to reinforce libertarian views favoring the most conservative party.
    Keywords: Economic beliefs; party preference; sociotropic voting; pocketbook voting; survey; personality traits
    JEL: D83 D72 Z13
    Date: 2014–05
  5. By: Dr Alex Bryson
    Abstract: Across countries, union membership and voter turnout are highly correlated. In unadjusted terms union members maintain a roughly 0.10 to 0.12 point gap in voting propensity over non-members. We propose a model – with three causal channels -- that explains this correlation and then empirically tests for the contribution of each channel to the overall union voting gap. The first channel by which union members are more likely to vote is through the so-called “monopoly-face” of unionism whereby unions increase wages for members and higher incomes are a significant positive determinant of voting. The second is the “social custom” model of unionism whereby co-worker peer pressure creates incentives for union members to vote alongside fellow members. The third channel is based on the “voice-face” of unionism whereby employees who are (or have been) exposed to collective bargaining and union representation at the workplace are also more likely to increase their attachment to democratic engagement in society at large.  We test to see how much of the raw “union voting gap” is accounted for by these three competing channels using data from 29 European countries. We find that all three channels are at work, with voice accounting for half of the overall gap and the other two channels (monopoly and social custom) each accounting for about a quarter of the overall union voting gap. 
    Date: 2014–05
  6. By: Quan Hoang Vuong
    Abstract: Being a member of the thriving ASEAN and successfully implementing economic renovation (Doi Moi) have drawn the world's attention on Vietnam around the turn of the millennium. Some even expected a much faster pace of transformation, and renewed economic, AND political, reforms in Vietnam, or Doi Moi II.However, in the recent transition turmoil the Vietnamese economy has experienced some significant setback, and the solution for getting the country out of the downward spiral of low productivity, waning purchasing power and increasing costs of doing business cannot be worked out without addressing those political economy issues that have shaped the modus operandi of the nation's economic system. This article discusses the post-Doi Moi political economy in Vietnam, from 1986 to 2016 – when the 12th Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam takes place – and prospects of reviving reform momentum in subsequent years.
    Keywords: Vietnam; economic transition; political economy; socialist; governance
    JEL: H10 O10 P20 P48
    Date: 2014–05–16
  7. By: Christian Daude; Hamlet Gutiérrez; Ángel Melguizo
    Abstract: Tax incentives can be a useful tool to stimulate investment in developing countries. However, in these countries interest groups often are able to exert considerable influence in its management, if not its design. From a power-based approach to the political economy of tax reform we find how interest groups work within the institutional framework to seek outcomes that best fit their objectives. When unsuccessful, they become powerful advocates of change. These power dynamics have important implications for the design and management of tax incentives in developing economies. Les mesures d’incitations fiscales peuvent être un outil utile pour stimuler l’investissement dans les pays en développement. Cependant, dans ces pays, les groupes d’intérêt sont souvent en mesure d’exercer une influence considérable sur sa gestion, voire sur sa conception. En suivant une approche de l’économie politique de la réforme fiscale basée sur le pouvoir nous trouvons comment les groupes d’intérêt fonctionnent dans le cadre institutionnel pour obtenir les résultats qui correspondent le mieux à leurs objectifs. Lorsqu’ils échouent, ils deviennent de puissants partisans du changement. Ces dynamiques de pouvoir ont d’importantes implications pour la conception et la gestion des mesures d’incitations fiscales dans les pays en développement.
    Keywords: political economy, tax incentives, Dominican Republic, fiscal policy, incitatifs fiscaux, République dominicaine, politique fiscale, économie politique
    JEL: D78 H25 O25
    Date: 2014–05–28
  8. By: Klarizze Anne Puzon; Marc Willinger
    Abstract: We analyze an institutionalized rent-seeking game in which groups can endogenously choose the prize at stake, e.g. a common-pool resource. In the first stage, groups determine how much of the resource to protect and equally share. In the second stage, the unprotected fraction is competed for in a rent-seeking game. We consider two institutions varying in the extent by which subjects participate: majority voting (i.e. "unrestrained participation" where all group members participate in the protection stage) and dictatorial rule (i.e. "limited participation" where only one member decides in the protection stage) [...]
    Date: 2014–06

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