nep-pol New Economics Papers
on Positive Political Economics
Issue of 2016‒01‒29
five papers chosen by
Eugene Beaulieu
University of Calgary

  1. The role of non-voting in shifts in support for Italian political parties (2006-2008) By Luana Russo
  2. Politically driven cycles in fiscal policy: In depth analysis of the functional components of government expenditures By Vítor Castro; Rodrigo Martins
  3. Conflict, Economic Growth and Spillover Effects in Africa By John Paul Dunne and Nan Tian
  4. Explaining Offline Participation in a Social Movement with Online Data: The Case of Observers for Fair Elections By Olessia Y. Koltsova; Galina I. Selivanova
  5. Corruption and Agricultural Trade By Biswas, Trina

  1. By: Luana Russo
    Abstract: The 2008 Italian Parliamentary Elections showed the highest abstention rate in Italianhistory (19.5%) up until that moment (a new record was set in 2013). Even though thisabstention rate might seem quite low in comparison with some other Western democracies,it has been steadily increasing over time. Furthermore, recent research shows that theintermittent non-vote is increasing as well. The voter’s individual decision on whether or notto vote depends on the circumstances at each election, taking into consideration the type ofelection, the quality of the candidates, and so forth. By employing an ecological inferencemethod on the Italian aggregate data, this paper assesses what happened in terms ofelectoral realignment and differential abstention. It also aims to find out which parties arenow gaining or losing support from non-voters in the 2008 Parliamentary Italian elections.
    Date: 2014–12–01
  2. By: Vítor Castro (Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra, and Economic Policies Research Unit (NIPE)); Rodrigo Martins (Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra and Group for Monetary and Fiscal Studies (GEMF))
    Abstract: This article analyses the incidence of politically driven cycles on the functional components and sub-components of government expenditures over a group of 18 European countries during the period 1990-2012. An LSDVC estimator is employed in the empirical analysis. The results point out to the presence of political opportunism at aggregated and disaggregated levels of public expenditures, but no significant evidence of partisan or other political effects is found. The expenditure components that have proved to be more related to that behaviour are public services, health, education and social protection. These include items able to generate more visible outcomes to voters and, consequently, of increasing government’s chance of re-election.
    Keywords: Government Expenditures; Political Cycles; Elections; Europe, Fiscal Policy
    JEL: E60 H72 D78
    Date: 2016
  3. By: John Paul Dunne and Nan Tian
    Abstract: While there is a large empirical literature on the determinants of conflict, much less attention has been given to its economic effects and even less to the spillover effects it can have on neighbours. This paper considers the economic effects of conflict for a panel of African countries and develops an approach to calculating the spillovers that moves beyond simply using geographical distance measures and incorporates economic and political differences. The initial empirical results suggest that conflict has a strong negative spillover effect on directly contiguous countries' growth, but no significant impacts were observed on non-contiguous countries. When economic and political factors are considered, this result remains, but the spillover effect is smaller. This implies that it is important to take such factors into account. While the impact of conflict remains devastating, studies that use only geographical distance measures may have been overestimating the impact on neighbours.
    Keywords: Conflict; Economic Growth; Spillovers
    JEL: C21 F21 H56 O11
    Date: 2015
  4. By: Olessia Y. Koltsova (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Galina I. Selivanova (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: This research investigates to which extent activity of a social movement on a social networking site is related to participation in the offline collective action. We use the data from 17 online groups representing the branches of the movement for Fair Elections in 17 districts of St.Petersburg, Russia, and compare their online parameters to real offline participation of group members in elections in the role of observers. With around 12,000 online users and over 200 offline participants, we use social network analysis and statistical analysis to obtain our results. We find that both on the group and the individual levels participation is related to online networking features and activity parameters, albeit to a modest degree, and offline leaders are especially different from the rest of the members in terms of most online features
    Keywords: social movements, online communities, social networks, participation, Russia.
    JEL: Z19
    Date: 2015
  5. By: Biswas, Trina
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, International Relations/Trade,
    Date: 2015–12

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