nep-pol New Economics Papers
on Positive Political Economics
Issue of 2022‒03‒28
six papers chosen by
Eugene Beaulieu
University of Calgary

  1. Not-so-strategic Voters By Antoinette Baujard; Isabelle Lebon
  2. The Political Consequences of Green Policies: Evidence from Italy By Italo Colantone; Livio Di Lonardo; Yotam Margalit; Marco Percoco
  3. The Heterogeneous Price of a Vote: Evidence from Multiparty Systems, 1993-2017 By Yasmine Bekkouche; Julia Cage; Edgard Dewitte
  4. Parenthood and Political Engagement By Daryna Grechyna
  5. Political and Non-Political Officials in Local Government By Resce, Giuliano
  6. Effect of women’s political inclusion on the level of infrastructures in Africa By Tii N. Nchofoung; Simplice A. Asongu; Vanessa S. Tchamyou

  1. By: Antoinette Baujard (Univ Lyon, UJM Saint-Etienne, GATE UMR 5824, F-42023 Saint-Etienne, France); Isabelle Lebon (University Caen Normandy, UNICAEN, CREM-UMR 6211, F-14000 Caen, France)
    Abstract: An experiment carried out in situ during the 2017 French presidential election provides the natural conditions in which to disentangle the motivations of expressive voting and strategic voting as determinants of voters’ choice. Under the two-round plurality rule, when voters vote for a single candidate in the first round, they may wish primarily to express which is their favorite candidate, or, rather, to influence the outcome of the second-round outcome by strategic voting. These two motives may coincide or conflict. We show that insincere strategic voting is relatively low in this context since it represents less than 7% of the votes cast. When the expressive and the strategic motives conflict with each other, i.e., where expression requires giving up any influence on the outcome of the election, we show that voters are twice as likely to eschew strategic voting as to vote strategically.
    Keywords: In Situ Experiment, Strategy vs. Expression dilemma, Expression of preferences, Voting behavior, Strategic behavior, Two-round plurality vote
    JEL: D72 C93
    Date: 2022
  2. By: Italo Colantone; Livio Di Lonardo; Yotam Margalit; Marco Percoco
    Abstract: For many governments enacting green policies is a priority, but these often entail substantial and uneven costs on citizens. How does the introduction of green policies affect voting? We study this question in the context of a major ban on polluting cars introduced in Milan. The policy was strongly opposed by the right-wing populist party Lega, portraying it as a “radical-chic-leftist†initiative penalizing common people. We show that owners of banned vehicles—who incurred a median loss of €3,750—were significantly more likely to vote for Lega in the subsequent elections. This electoral shift does not stem from increased environmental skepticism, but rather from the perceived unfairness of the policy and its pocketbook implications. In fact, recipients of compensation from the local government were not more likely to switch to Lega. The findings underscore that addressing the distributive consequences is key for advancing green policies that are politically sustainable.
    Keywords: environmental politics; green policies; distributional consequences; compensation mechanisms
    Date: 2022
  3. By: Yasmine Bekkouche (PSE - Paris School of Economics - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, ULB - Université libre de Bruxelles); Julia Cage (ECON - Département d'économie (Sciences Po) - Sciences Po - Sciences Po - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Edgard Dewitte (ECON - Département d'économie (Sciences Po) - Sciences Po - Sciences Po - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: What is the impact of campaign spending on votes? Does it vary across election types, political parties or electoral settings? Estimating these effects requires comprehensive data on spending across candidates, parties and elections, as well as identification strategies that handle the endogenous and strategic nature of campaign spending in multiparty systems. This paper provides novel contributions in both of these areas. We build a new comprehensive dataset of all French legislative and UK general elections over the 1993–2017 period. We propose new empirical specifications, including a new instrument that relies on the fact that candidates are differentially affected by regulation on the source of funding on which they depend the most. We find that an increase in spending per voter consistently improves candidates' vote share, both at British and French elections, and that the effect is heterogeneous depending on candidates' party. In particular, we show that spending by radical and extreme parties has much lower returns than spending by mainstream parties, and that this can be partly explained by the social stigma attached to extreme voting. Our findings help reconcile the conflicting results of the existing literature, and improve our understanding of why campaigns matter.
    Keywords: Elections,Campaign financing,Campaign expenditures,Campaign finance reform,Multiparty electoral data,Heterogeneous effects of campaign spending
    Date: 2022–02–01
  4. By: Daryna Grechyna (Department of Economic Theory and Economic History, University of Granada.)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the impact of parenthood on political engagement using the longitudinal British survey data and a repeated cross-sectional European Social survey. I construct a political engagement measure by applying confirmatory factor analysis to observable indicators of several different aspects of political engagement. Then, I estimate the impact of becoming a parent on political engagement based on an event study around the birth of an individual’s first child, using UK data. The results indicate that having children reduces the political engagement of female parents but does not significantly affect the political engagement of male parents. The impact on women is temporary and disappears several years after the birth of their first child. The analysis of the impact of additional children on political engagement suggests that women’s political engagement is reduced by the fact of becoming a mother rather than by the number of children. The results are confirmed using repeated cross-sectional data for European regions, controlling for fixed regional characteristics. The policy implications of these findings are discussed.
    Keywords: parenting; children; political interests; political disenfranchisement; voter turnout; survey data
    Date: 2022–03–08
  5. By: Resce, Giuliano
    Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of non-political administrators on the financial management of local governments. The activity of prefectorial officials is compared with the activity of elected mayors exploiting data extracted from a panel of 7826 Italian municipalities from 2007 to 2018. To address the potential confounding effects and selection biases, we combine a Difference in Difference strategy with machine learning methods for counterfactual analysis. Results show that non-political administrators bring higher financial autonomy and higher collection capacity, raising more revenues at local level. This is consistent with the hypothesis that, since they do not respond to electoral incentives, non-political administrators have lower motivations to behave strategically, not taking their own interests about electoral successes into account when they have to choose the proportion of local versus external revenues for financing local expenditure.
    Keywords: Local Government, Electoral Incentives, Accountability
    JEL: D7 H2 H77
    Date: 2022–03–16
  6. By: Tii N. Nchofoung (University of Dschang, Cameroon); Simplice A. Asongu (Yaoundé, Cameroon); Vanessa S. Tchamyou (Yaoundé, Cameroon)
    Abstract: The need for gender inclusion was highlighted as the fifth sustainable development goal (SDG) (i.e. SDG5) and policies have been gearing towards attaining this objective and its subsequent effect on macroeconomic outcome. Equally, the demonstrated trend of infrastructures in Africa in terms of stocks and future need is unique compared to the rest of the world. The objective of this study is therefore to empirically examine the effect of women’s political inclusion on infrastructural development in Africa. The results through the system GMM and Quantile Regression techniques show that women’s political inclusion enhances infrastructural development in Africa. The result is robust across different measures of infrastructures and political inclusion. Besides, the positive relationship is maintained across income groups, levels of political stability and export structure. However, the effect is non-significant in countries with infrastructural scores around the extreme quantiles. The results of the study recommend African policymakers to prioritise the inclusion of women in the political agenda as one of the strategies towards the development of infrastructures. This could come through the putting in place of laws that favour women’s participation in politics. Moreover, the countries should ratify international conventions that favour gender inclusion.
    Keywords: Infrastructures, Women’s political empowerment, Africa
    Date: 2022–01

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