nep-pol New Economics Papers
on Positive Political Economics
Issue of 2015‒09‒26
twenty-six papers chosen by
Eugene Beaulieu
University of Calgary

  1. Are parliaments with more parties cheaper to Bribe? By Bannikova, Marina; Tasnádi, Attila
  2. Identification and Estimation of Preference Distributions When Voters Are Ideological By De Paula, Áureo; Merlo, Antonio
  3. Why is Fiscal Policy Often Procyclical? By Alberto Alesina; Filipe Campante; Guido Tabellini
  4. Redistribution in a Model of Voting and Campaign Contributions By Filipe Campante
  5. Media and Polarization: Evidence from the Introduction of Broadcast TV in the US By Filipe Campante; Daniel Hojman
  6. Politically Induced Regulatory Risk and Independent Regulatory Agencies By Strausz, Roland
  7. Earmarking and the Political Support of Fat Taxes By Cremer, Helmuth; Goulão, Catarina; Roeder, Kerstin
  8. Isolated Capital Cities, Accountability, and Corruption: Evidence from US States By Filipe Campante; Quoc-Anh Do
  9. An Experimental Study of Voting with Costly Delay By Kwiek, Maksymilian; Marreiros, Helia; Vlassopoulos, Michael
  10. Instability and the Incentives for Corruption By Filipe Campante; Davin Chor; Quoc-Anh Do
  11. Banks, Politics, and Political Parties: From Partisan Banking to Open Access in Early Massachusetts By Qian Lu; John Wallis
  12. The Political Economy of State and Local Investment in Pre-K Programs By Kahn, Matthew E.; Barron, Kyle
  13. Do Politicians Use Policy to Make Politics? The Case of Public Sector Labor Laws By Anzia, Sarah F.; Moe, Terry M.
  14. The Irrelevance of Political Parties’ Differences for Public Finances - Evidence from Public Deficit and Debt in Portugal (1974 – 2012) By André Corrêa d’Almeida; Paulo Reis Mourão
  15. The Politics of Pensions By Anzia, Sarah; Moe, Terry
  16. Fiscal equalization under political pressures By Alejandro Esteller-Moré; Umberto Galmarini; Leonzio Rizzo
  17. The People Want the Fall of the Regime: Schooling, Political Protest, and the Economy By Filipe Campante; Davin Chor
  18. A Good Turn Deserves Another: Political Stability, Corruption and Corruption-Control By Simplice Asongu; Jacinta C. Nwachukwu
  19. Should I double park or should I go? The effect of political ideology on collective action problems By Adam, Antonis; Drichoutis, Andreas C.; Georgoula, Maria; Kammas, Pantelis
  20. The value of democracy: evidence from road building in Kenya By Robin Burgess; Remi Jedwab; Edward Miguel; Ameet Morjaria; Gerard Padró i Miquel
  21. Fighting the Last Economic War: How Crises Lead to Ideological Change in Latin America By Stephen Kaplan
  22. Russia's Economy under Putin: From Crony Capitalism to State Capitalism By Simeon Djankov
  23. From Conflict to Harmony—reflection of two dimensions of political democracy By Xueping Hu
  24. No Place like Home: Opinion Formation with Homophily and Implications for Policy Decisions By Önder, Ali Sina; Portmann, Marco; Stadelmann, David
  25. Framing the Immigrant Movement as about Rights, Family, or Economics: Which Appeals Resonate and for Whom? By Bloemraad, Irene; Voss, Kim; Silva, Fabiana
  26. A Replication of 'Do Voters Affect or Elect Policies? Evidence from the U.S. House' (The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2004) By Patrick Button

  1. By: Bannikova, Marina; Tasnádi, Attila
    Abstract: We collect data about 172 countries: their parliaments, level of corruption, perceptions of corruption of parliament and political parties. We find weak empirical evidence supporting the conclusion that corruption increases as the number of parties increases. To provide a theoretical explanation of this finding we present a simple theoretical model of parliaments formed by parties, which must decide whether to accept or reject a proposal in the presence of a briber, who is interested in having the bill passed. We compute the number of deputies the briber needs to persuade on average in parliaments with different structures described by the number of parties, the voting quota, and the allocation of seats among parties. We find that the average number of seats needed to be bribed decreases as the number of parties increases. Restricting the minimal number of seats a party may have, we show that the average number of seats to be bribed is smaller in parliaments without small parties. Restricting the maximum number of seats a party may have, we find that under simple majority the average number of seats needed to be bribed is smaller for parliaments in which one party has majority, but under qualified majority it hardly changes. Keywords: Bribing, party composition of a parliament, knapsack problem. JEL Classification Number: D73, D72.
    Keywords: Corrupció política, 32 - Política,
    Date: 2015
  2. By: De Paula, Áureo; Merlo, Antonio
    Abstract: This paper studies the nonparametric identification and estimation of voters' preferences when voters are ideological. We establish that voter preference distributions and other parameters of interest can be identified from aggregate electoral data. We also show that these objects can be consistently estimated and illustrate our analysis by performing an actual estimation using data from the 1999 European Parliament elections.
    Keywords: identification; nonparametric; Voronoi tessellation; voting
    JEL: C14 D72
    Date: 2015–09
  3. By: Alberto Alesina; Filipe Campante; Guido Tabellini
    Abstract: Fiscal policy is procyclical in many developing countries. We explain this policy failure with a political agency problem. Procyclicality is driven by voters who seek to ?starve the Leviathan? to reduce political rents. Voters observe the state of the economy but not the rents appropriated by corrupt governments. When they observe a boom, voters optimally demand more public goods or lower taxes, and this induces a procyclical bias in fiscal policy. The empirical evidence is consistent with this explanation: Procyclicality of fiscal policy is more pronounced in more corrupt democracies.
  4. By: Filipe Campante
    Abstract: I propose a framework in which individual political participation can take two distinct forms, voting and contributing resources to campaigns, in a context in which the negligible impact of any individual?s actions on aggregate outcomes is fully recognized by all agents. I then use the framework to reassess the relationship between inequality and redistribution. The model shows that, even though each contribution has a negligible impact, the interaction between contributions and voting leads to an endogenous wealth bias in the political process, as the advantage of wealthier individuals in providing contributions encourages parties to move their platforms closer to those individuals? preferred positions. This mechanism can in turn explain why the standard median-voter-based prediction, that more inequality produces more redistribution, has received little empirical support: Higher inequality endogenously shifts the political system further in favor of the rich. In equilibrium, there is a non-monotonic relationship in which redistribution is initially increasing but eventually decreasing in inequality. I present some empirical evidence supporting the framework, using data on campaign contributions from US presidential elections. In particular, inequality increases contributions to Republicans, but not to Democrats, as predicted by the model.
  5. By: Filipe Campante; Daniel Hojman
    Abstract: This paper sheds light on the links between media and political polarization by looking at the introduction of broadcast TV in the US. We provide causal evidence that broadcast TV decreased the ideological extremism of US representatives. We then show that exposure to radio was associated with decreased polarization. We interpret this result using a simple framework that identifies two channels linking media environment to politicians? incentives to polarize. First, the ideology effect: changes in the media environment may affect the distribution of citizens? ideological views, with politicians moving their positions accordingly. Second, the motivation effect: the media may affect citizens? political motivation, changing the ideological composition of the electorate and thereby impacting elite polarization while mass polarization is unchanged. The evidence on polarization and turnout is consistent with a prevalence of the ideology effect in the case of TV, as both of them decreased. Increased turnout associated with radio exposure is in turn consistent with a role for the motivation effect.
  6. By: Strausz, Roland
    Abstract: Uncertainty in election outcomes generates politically induced regulatory risk. Political parties' risk attitudes towards such risk depend on a fluctuation effect that hurts both parties and an output--expansion effect that benefits at least one party. Notwithstanding the parties' risk attitudes, political parties have incentives to negotiate away all regulatory risk by pre-electoral bargaining. Efficient pre-electoral bargaining outcomes fully eliminate politically induced regulatory risk. Political parties can implement such outcomes by institutionalizing politically independent regulatory agencies and endowing them with a specific objective.
    Keywords: electoral uncertainty; independent regulatory agency; regulation; regulatory risk
    JEL: D82
    Date: 2015–09
  7. By: Cremer, Helmuth (Toulouse School of Economics); Goulão, Catarina (Toulouse School of Economics); Roeder, Kerstin (University of Augsburg)
    Abstract: A fat and a healthy good provide immediate gratification, and cause health costs or benefits in the long run, which are misperceived. Additionally, the fat good (healthy good) increases (decreases) health care costs by increasing (decreasing) the probability of suffering from a chronic disease in the future. Individuals differ in income and in their degree of misperceptions concerning the health effects of the consumption of fat and of healthy goods. The level of the fat tax is determined through majority voting. Individuals vote according to their misperceived utility function. Consequently, excessive fat consumption is not due to a self-control problem but due to information deficiencies or cognitive inability to process information. A fraction of the fat tax proceeds is "earmarked" to reduce health insurance premiums while the remaining fraction finances a subsidy on the healthy good. This earmarking rule is determined at a constitutional stage to maximize utilitarian or Rawlsian welfare, anticipating the induced political equilibrium. We show that the fat tax in the political equilibrium is always lower than the utilitarian fat tax. This is no longer necessarily true with a Rawlsian objective. The determination of the optimal earmarking rule is quite complex. Even in the utilitarian case, it is not just used to boost political support for the fat tax. Instead, it may involve a tradeoff between the fat tax and the healthy good subsidy.
    Keywords: obesity, fat tax, misperception, voting, earmarking
    JEL: I12 I18 D72
    Date: 2015–09
  8. By: Filipe Campante; Quoc-Anh Do
    Abstract: We show that isolated capital cities are robustly associated with greater levels of corruption across US states, in line with the view that this isolation reduces accountability. We then provide direct evidence that the spatial distribution of population relative to the capital affects different accountability mechanisms: newspapers cover state politics more when readers are closer to the capital, voters who live far from the capital are less knowledgeable and interested in state politics, and they turn out less in state elections. We also find that isolated capitals are associated with more money in state-level campaigns, and worse public good provision
  9. By: Kwiek, Maksymilian (University of Southampton); Marreiros, Helia (University of Southampton); Vlassopoulos, Michael (University of Southampton)
    Abstract: A conclave is a voting mechanism in which a committee selects an alternative by voting until a sufficient supermajority is reached. We study experimentally welfare properties of simple three-voter conclaves with privately known preferences over two outcomes and waiting costs. The resulting game is a form of multiplayer war of attrition. Our key finding is that, consistent with theoretical predictions, when voters are ex ante heterogeneous in terms of the intensity of their preferences the conclave leads to efficiency gains relative to simple majority voting. We also compare welfare properties of a static versus a dynamic version of a conclave. When social cost of waiting is taken into account, the dynamic conclave is superior in terms of welfare than its static version.
    Keywords: voting, supermajority, intensity of preferences, war of attrition
    JEL: C78 C92 D72 D74
    Date: 2015–09
  10. By: Filipe Campante; Davin Chor; Quoc-Anh Do
    Abstract: We investigate the relationship between corruption and political stability, from both theoretical and empirical perspectives. We propose a model of incumbent behavior that features the interplay of two effects: A horizon effect, whereby greater instability leads the incumbent to embezzle more during his short window of opportunity; and a demand effect, by which the private sector is more willing to bribe stable incumbents. The horizon effect dominates at low levels of stability, since firms are unwilling to pay high bribes and unstable incumbents have strong incentives to embezzle, whereas the demand effect gains salience in more stable regimes. Together, these two effects generate a nonmonotonic, U-shaped relationship between total corruption and stability. On the empirical side, we find a robust U-shaped pattern between country indices of corruption perception and various measures of incumbent stability, including historically-observed average tenures of chief executives and governing parties: Regimes that are very stable or very unstable display higher levels of corruption when compared to those in an intermediate range of stability. These results suggest that minimizing corruption may require an electoral system that features some reelection incentives, but with an eventual term limit.
  11. By: Qian Lu; John Wallis
    Abstract: The United States was the first nation to allow open access to the corporate form to its citizens. The state of Massachusetts was not only one of the first states to provide its members with legally sanctioned tools to create organizations and enable open access but, on a per capita basis, had many more banks and other corporations than other states as early as the 1820s. Nonetheless, Massachusetts did not open access easily. This paper documents that until 1812, bank charters were only available to members of the Federalist Party in Massachusetts. When the Democratic-Republicans gained control of the state legislature and governor’s mansion in 1811-12, they chartered two new Democratic-Republican banks and threatened to eliminate most of the Federalist bank. The paper documents the close association of politicians and bankers. Before 1811, close to three-quarters of all the bankers we can identify had been or would eventually become a state legislator. The evolving relationships between politics and banking, the eventual opening of banking, and the wealth of bankers are tracked into the 1850s.
    JEL: G2 G28 N0 N11 O1 O5
    Date: 2015–09
  12. By: Kahn, Matthew E. (University of California, Los Angeles); Barron, Kyle (University of California, San Francisco)
    Abstract: The expansion of access to publicly provided pre-kindergarten bundles together redistribution to the poor with an early human capital investment. Financing publicly provided pre-K investment is mainly a state and local issue. Which voters favor local pre-K expansion? This paper uses several new data sets to describe the circumstances such that local voters reveal a willingness to spend on an early intervention that may not yield direct benefits for them. Republican voters consistently oppose the expansion of publicly provided pre-K. Suburban voters also tend to oppose such investment. We explore several possible explanations for these facts.
    Keywords: early childhood investment, voting, urban, suburban
    JEL: H41
    Date: 2015–09
  13. By: Anzia, Sarah F.; Moe, Terry M.
    Abstract: Schattschneider’s insight that “policies make politics†has played an influential role in the modern study of political institutions and public policy. Yet if policies do indeed make politics, rational politicians clearly have opportunities to use policies to create a future structure of politics more to their own advantage — and this strategic dimension has gone almost entirely unexplored. Do politicians actually use policies to make politics? Under what conditions? In this paper, we develop a theoretical argument about what can be expected from strategic politicians, and we carry out an empirical analysis on a policy development that is particularly instructive: the adoption of public sector collective bargaining laws by the states during the 1960s, 1970s, and early 1980s — laws that fueled the rise of public sector unions, and “made politics†to the great advantage of Democrats over Republicans.
    Keywords: Social and Behavioral Sciences
    Date: 2015–02–01
  14. By: André Corrêa d’Almeida (School of International and Public Affairs); Paulo Reis Mourão (School of Economics and Management and NIPE, University of Minho)
    Abstract: This paper attempts to empirically test whether inter-parties’ political differences impact public finances in Portugal differently. Focused on public debt and the government budget deficit, and using data collected since 1974 for several variables, this paper applies econometric modeling to show that inter-parties’ differences have had no significant impact on the performance of public finances in Portugal. We observed that the Portuguese public budget deficit and the Portuguese public debt are mainly influenced by the process of globalization, the profile of the Portuguese Welfare State, and the phases of the economic cycle. In this ontext, this paper aims to dispel some myths regarding the “value” of a policy process based on political intrigue, enmity, and confrontation around differentiated political parties’ merits in European democracies.
    Date: 2015
  15. By: Anzia, Sarah; Moe, Terry
    Abstract: For decades, America’s state and local governments have promised their workers increasingly generous pensions but failed to fully fund them, producing a fiscal problem of staggering proportions. In this paper, we examine the politics of public pensions. While it might seem obvious that the pension problem is due to Democrats and unions pushing for generous pensions over Republican resistance, we develop a theory—rooted in voters, interest groups, and myopic politicians—to argue that, during normal times, we should expect both parties to support generous (and underfunded) pensions, and thus to be responsible for the larger problem. It is only after the onset of the Great Recession, which disrupted normalcy by expanding the scope of conflict, that we should expect partisan conflict. Using a new dataset of state legislators’ votes on hundreds of pension bills passed between 1999 and 2011, we carry out an empirical analysis that supports these expectations.
    Keywords: Social and Behavioral Sciences
    Date: 2013–12–01
  16. By: Alejandro Esteller-Moré (Universitat de Barcelona & IEB); Umberto Galmarini (Università dell’ Insubria & IEB); Leonzio Rizzo (University of Ferrara & IEB)
    Abstract: We examine the design of fiscal equalization transfers aimed at inter-regional redistribution in a setting in which special interest groups distort the fiscal policies of local governments. Equity always calls for tax-base equalization while efficiency calls for tax-base equalization of fiscal capacities backed by strong lobby groups and for tax-revenue equalization of those backed by weak lobby groups. Hence, it is optimal to rely only on tax-base equalization if the special interest groups are similar in terms of lobbying power, whereas a mixed system is optimal if they are highly heterogeneous. Tax competition reinforces the role of tax-base, while tax exporting that of tax-revenue, fiscal equalization.
    Keywords: Fiscal-capacity equalization-grants, inter-regional redistribution, tax competition, equity-efficiency tradeoff, special interest groups, lobbying
    JEL: H77 D72 H21
    Date: 2015
  17. By: Filipe Campante; Davin Chor
    Abstract: We provide evidence that economic circumstances are a key intermediating variable for understanding the relationship between schooling and political protest. Using the World Values Survey, we find that individuals with higher levels of schooling, but whose income outcomes fall short of that predicted by their biographical characteristics, in turn display a greater propensity to engage in protest activities. We discuss a number of interpretations that are consistent with this finding, including the idea that economic conditions can affect how individuals trade off the use of their human capital between production and political activities. Our results could also reflect a link between education, ?grievance?, and political protest, although we argue that this is unlikely to be the sole explanation. Separately, we show that the interaction between schooling and economic conditions matters too at the country level: Rising education levels coupled with macroeconomic weakness are associated with increased incumbent turnover, as well as subsequent pressures toward democratization.
  18. By: Simplice Asongu (Yaoundé/Cameroun); Jacinta C. Nwachukwu (Coventry University)
    Abstract: We build on existing literature and contemporary challenges to African development to assess the role of political stability in fighting corruption and boosting corruption-control in 53 African countries for the period 1996-2010. We postulate that on the one hand, an atmosphere of political instability should increase the confidence of impunity owing to less corruption-control. On the other hand, in the absence such impunity from corruption, political instability further fuels corruption. Our findings validate both hypotheses. Hence, contrary to a stream of the literature, we establish causal evidence of a positive (negative) nexus between political stability/no violence and corruption-control (corruption). The empirical evidence is based on Generalized Methods of Moments. The findings are robust to contemporary and non-contemporary quantile regressions. The political stability estimates are consistently significant with decreasing (increasing) magnitudes throughout the conditional distributions of corruption (corruption-control). In other words, the positive responsiveness of corruption-control to political stability is an increasing function of corruption-control while the negative responsiveness of corruption to political stability is a decreasing function of corruption. Simply put: a good turn deserves another.
    Keywords: Fragility; Corruption; Conflicts; Africa
    JEL: F52 K42 O17 O55 P16
    Date: 2015–09
  19. By: Adam, Antonis; Drichoutis, Andreas C.; Georgoula, Maria; Kammas, Pantelis
    Abstract: Collective action problems, such as double parking behavior, are pervasive in everyday life. This paper presents the results from a field survey that was carried out at one of the main and busiest streets of the city of Ioannina in Greece, in order to investigate the effect of political ideology on double parking behavior. We find that individuals placing themselves either on the extreme Left or the extreme Right on a [0-10] political spectrum, are characterized by increased propensity of double parking behavior. Taking into account that both the extreme Left and the extreme Right Greek parties are strongly in favor of state intervention, our empirical findings could be read as follows. Subjects that believe in the superiority of state intervention rely heavier on incentives and constraints provided by the law and therefore in the absence of an effective monitoring mechanism they fail to internalize the social cost of their actions. In contrast, subjects that are in favor of decentralized market solutions, take into account the social impact of their actions even in the absence of a strong monitoring state mechanism.
    Keywords: Collective Action; Political Ideology; Political Behavior
    JEL: C93 H23 H41
    Date: 2015–09–16
  20. By: Robin Burgess; Remi Jedwab; Edward Miguel; Ameet Morjaria; Gerard Padró i Miquel
    Abstract: Ethnic favoritism is seen as antithetical to development. This paper provides credible quantification of the extent of ethnic favoritism using data on road building in Kenyan districts across the 1963–2011 period. Guided by a model it then examines whether the transition in and out of democracy under the same president constrains or exacerbates ethnic favoritism. Across the post-independence period, we find strong evidence of ethnic favoritism: districts that share the ethnicity of the president receive twice as much expenditure on roads and have five times the length of paved roads built. This favoritism disappears during periods of democracy.
    JEL: D72 H54 J15 O15 O17 O22 R42
    Date: 2015–06
  21. By: Stephen Kaplan
    Abstract: Political economy theory expects that changes in macroeconomic governance are often catalyzed by institutional factors, such as partisanship or elections. I challenge and contextualize this view by incorporating the role of technocratic advisors into a domestic policymaking framework. I contend that structural and elite-level explanations are also important to understanding ideational shifts, particularly in regions like Latin America that suffer from severe economic volatility. Presidents tend to govern from the lens of their crisis past, appointing economic hawks (or mainstream economists) who embrace austerity in the shadow of inflation crises, and economic doves (heterodox economists) who drift from budget discipline following unemployment shocks. Employing an originally constructed data index, the Index of Economic Advisors, I conduct a statistical test of 16 Latin American countries from 1960 to 2011, finding support for sustained idological shifts in technocratic composition and fiscal governance, based on the nature of past shocks.
    JEL: B22 E31 E60 E62 E65 H30 H60 N16 O54 O57
    Date: 2015–08
  22. By: Simeon Djankov (Peterson Institute for International Economics)
    Abstract: In the 15 years of President Vladimir Putin's rule, state control over economic activity in Russia has increased and is greater today than in the immediate postcommunist era. The concentration of political and economic power in Putin's hands has led to an increasingly assertive foreign policy, using energy as a diplomatic tool, while plentiful revenues from extractive industries have obfuscated the need for structural reforms at home. The West's 2014 sanctions on Russia have brought about economic stagnation, and with few visible means of growth, the economy is likely to continue to struggle. Watching Europe struggle with its own growth, in part because of deficiencies in its economic model, Russia will not be convinced to divert from state capitalism without evidence of a different, successful economic model. Changing course can only be pursued in the presence of political competition; the current political landscape does not allow for such competition to flourish.
    Date: 2015–09
  23. By: Xueping Hu (The School of Marxism ,Harbin Engineering University)
    Abstract: Democracy means everyone is equal to exercise their rights and comply with their duty. the premise of it is everyone is equal this is also the nature of democracy and the connotation of democracy ideal. However, the result of people rule always runs counter to the pre-configured ends. And we couldn’t get the true equal easily in reality. There is a great gap between DID and democratic reality.Democracy has two dimensions, one is democratic institution (DIN) and the other is democratic ideal (DID). These two dimensions have been in conflict since the emergence of democracy in human history. The confliction will lead to the deviation of the purpose we want to get when to manage the society according to the democratic method. This article reflects the connotation of democratic ideal in the view of constructing people’s real relationship. It points out the hazard to break up DIN and DID and to seek a new accommodation with both of them.
    Keywords: Democratic institution(DIN)
    JEL: Z00
  24. By: Önder, Ali Sina (Uppsala Center for Fiscal Studies); Portmann, Marco (University of Fribourg.); Stadelmann, David (University of Bayreuth and CREMA)
    Abstract: We demonstrate a simple model of opinion diffusion where a local opinion leader acts as the initiator of public discussion. We show the possibility of driving a significant wedge between opinions of two groups that exhibit homophily even though individuals are highly conformist. In particular, we show that there exists an opinion gap between the group which the opinion leader belongs to (referred to as the residence community) and the other group; and this opinion gap is increasing in the relative size of the residence community. Using a unique dataset of national referenda in Switzerland from 2008 to 2012, we show that members of parliament (MPs) match referenda outcomes in their residence communities closer than they do in neighboring communities, and this wedge interacts signi cantly with the relative size of the residence community, thus aligning with our theoretical conjectures. We conclude that observed opinion gaps can actually be overrated to the extent that they are driven by structures that underlie the social web of different groups within the society.
    Keywords: Opinion Leadership; Diffusion; Homophily; Communication in Networks; Voter Preferences; Representation
    JEL: D72 D85 H79
    Date: 2015–09–12
  25. By: Bloemraad, Irene; Voss, Kim; Silva, Fabiana
    Abstract: Although social movement scholars in the United States have long ignored activism over immigration, this movement raises important theoretical and empirical questions. Which movement frames resonate most with the “public� Is the rights “master†frame persuasive in making the case for noncitizens? We leverage survey experiments—largely the domain of political scientists and public opinion researchers—to examine how much economic, human/citizenship rights, and family unity frames resonate with Californians. We pay particular attention to how potentially distinct “publics,†or sub-groups, might react to each frame. We find that alternative framings resonate with—at best—one particular political subgroup of the public and, dauntingly, frames that resonated with one group often alienated others. Thus, while activists and political theorists may hope that appeals to human rights can expand American notions of membership, such a frame does not help the immigrant rights movement. Instead, attitudes toward legalization change the most when the issue is framed as about family unity. But this only holds among self-reported conservatives. These findings underscore the challenges confronting the immigrant movement and the need for scholars to reevaluate how historically progressive rights language does little for immigrant claims-making.
    Keywords: Social and Behavioral Sciences, frame resonance, immigrant rights movement, public opinion, survey experiments, legalization
    Date: 2014–05–01
  26. By: Patrick Button (Department of Economics, Tulane University)
    Abstract: I replicate Lee, Moretti, and Butler (2004) "Do Voters Affect or Elect Policies? Evidence from the US House." Quarterly Journal of Economics, 119(3), 807-59, using new advances in regression discontinuity design methodology. Specifically, I use local linear regression with optimal bandwidths (Imbens and Kalyanaraman, 2012) and I follow advice on polynomial modelling in Lee and Lemieux (2010). I also run McCrary (2008)'s density test as an additional robustness check to investigate sorting around the treatment cut-off. I investigate the sensitivity of estimates to polynomial order, bandwidth, and to the inclusion of covariates. The conclusion of Lee, Moretti, and Butler (2004) that voters "elect" rather than "affect" policies still holds under this more rigorous scrutiny.
    Date: 2015–09

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