nep-pol New Economics Papers
on Positive Political Economics
Issue of 2023‒10‒23
eleven papers chosen by
Eugene Beaulieu, University of Calgary

  1. Electoral Cycles and Caste Violence in India By Roy, Ambika; Mukherjee, Anirban
  2. The decline of manufacturing employment and the rise of the far-right in Austria By Karim Bekhtiar
  3. (How) Do electoral surprises drive business cycles? Evidence from a new dataset By Fetzer, Thiemo; Yotzov, Ivan
  4. Does environment pay for politicians? By Mohamed Boly; Jean-Louis Combes; Pascale Combes Motel
  5. Exposure to Deaths of Despair and U.S. Presidential Election Outcomes By Nicole Siegal
  6. Institutional and political drivers for copper government take: new evidence for African and Latin American countries By Yawovi Mawussé Isaac Amedanou; Yannick Bouterige; Bertrand Laporte
  7. The effects of gender political inclusion and democracy on environmental performance: evidence from the method of moments by quantile regression By Simplice A. Asongu; Cheikh T. Ndour; Judith C. M. Ngoungou
  8. Attacking Women or their Policies? Understanding Violence against Women in Politics By Gianmarco Daniele; Gemma Dipoppa; Massimo Pulejo
  9. THE CONCEPT OF FREEDOM IN LIBERAL AND CONSERVATIVE POLITICAL THOUGHT AT THE TURN OF THE 19TH AND 20TH CENTURIES By Budraitskis, Ilya (Будрайтскис, Илья); Vanunts, Georgy (Ванунц, Георгий); Yegorova, A. (Егорова, А.); Zapolskaya, A. (Запольская, А.); Yudin, Grigory (Юдин, Григорий)
  10. Moral Boundaries By Benjamin Enke
  11. How Political Culture Shapes Horizontal Accountability Outcomes: Evidence from 62 Countries By Tomic, Slobodan; Rauh, William Jonathan

  1. By: Roy, Ambika; Mukherjee, Anirban (University of Calcutta)
    Abstract: In presence of ethnic voting, violence is often used in India to dissuade ethnic minorities from voting. In this paper, we examine if violence against disadvantaged castes follows a pattern during an electoral cycle. More specifically, we want to see if crimes against the Scheduled Caste population in India is affected by it’s proximity to state assembly elections. For this we construct a district level panel of 466 districts, spread across 18 states from2007 to 2021 on crime and elections in India. Our baseline specification exploits a fixed effects model and finds that election years are marked by a statistically significant fall in caste violence, which is quite high in the year preceding the election. A heterogeneity analysis reveals that the effect is significantly enhanced in districts with a history of caste politics, especially where caste parties have more political power. Our findings also support the claim that an increase in political power leads to a greater degree of confrontation and conflict rather than its prevention.
    Date: 2023–09–16
  2. By: Karim Bekhtiar (Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna)
    Abstract: In recent decades right-wing populist parties have experienced increased electoral success in many western democracies. This rise of the far-right, which is strongly built on the support of the working class, coincides with a sharp decline of the manufacturing sector. This paper analyzes the contribution of this manufacturing decline to the rise of the Austrian far-right. Overall the decline in manufacturing employment has strongly contributed to this rightward shift in the political landscape, with the manufacturing decline explaining roughly 43% of the observed increase in far-right vote-shares between 1995 and 2017. This effect is entirely driven by increases in natives unemployment rates, which increased considerably due to the manufacturing decline. Regarding the influences of the forces underlying the manufacturing decline, namely international trade and automation technologies, suggests that both forces contributed in roughly equal parts to this development
    Keywords: Manufacturing, Trade, Robots, Voting, Populism
    JEL: D72 F14 J21 J23 O14 R23
    Date: 2023–08
  3. By: Fetzer, Thiemo (University of Warwick, University of Bonn, ECONtribute, STICERD, CAGE, NIESR, CESifo, and CEPR); Yotzov, Ivan (University of Warwick, CAGE, and the Bank of England)
    Abstract: This paper documents that surprise election outcomes – measured as deviations between realised vote shares and expected vote shares based on a newly constructed dataset of opinion polls and party and candidate vote shares close to election day – are causing non-negligible short-term contractions in economic activity. We find that, on average, a percentage point higher surprise is associated with a 0.37 percentage point lower year-on-year growth rate one year after the election. These effects are only present in countries with strong democracies and seem to operate mainly through increased economic policy uncertainty and lower investment growth over a window of up to eight quarters after an election. In addition, surprise performances of left-wing political parties and in elections with transitions to left-wing governments (pre-defined from the Parlgov Database) are associated with the largest effects on the economy.
    Keywords: macroeconomic fluctuations, elections, structural reforms, surprises, uncertainty JEL Classification: E02, E3, F5, E32
    Date: 2023
  4. By: Mohamed Boly (World Bank Group); Jean-Louis Combes (LEO - Laboratoire d'Économie d'Orleans [2022-...] - UO - Université d'Orléans - UT - Université de Tours - UCA - Université Clermont Auvergne, UCA - Université Clermont Auvergne); Pascale Combes Motel (LEO - Laboratoire d'Économie d'Orleans [2022-...] - UO - Université d'Orléans - UT - Université de Tours - UCA - Université Clermont Auvergne, UCA - Université Clermont Auvergne)
    Abstract: We econometrically assess how elections affect environmental performance, namely climate policy, using a sample of 76 democratic countries from 1990 to 2014. Three key results emerge from our system-GMM estimations. First, CO2 emissions increase in election years, suggesting that incumbents engage in fiscal manipulation through the composition of public spending rather than its level. Second, the effect has weakened over recent years and is present only in established democracies. Third, higher freedom of the press and high income that can proxy high environmental preferences from citizens reduce the size of this trade-off between pork-barrel spending and the public good, namely environmental quality. Deteriorating environmental quality can bring electoral benefits to politicians.
    Keywords: CO2 emissions, Electoral cycles, Environmental policy, Panel data, 2 emissions Electoral cycles Environmental policy Panel data JEL Codes D72 E62 O13 Q54, 2 emissions, Panel data JEL Codes D72, E62, O13, Q54
    Date: 2023–09
  5. By: Nicole Siegal (University of Hawaii Manoa)
    Abstract: This paper evaluates how a community's exposure to deaths from suicide, drug overdose, alcohol poisoning, and liver disease (commonly referred to as Òdeaths of despairÓ) affects outcomes in U.S. Presidential elections. Using county-level panel data and two-way fixed effects regressions, I find that a standard deviation increase in the deaths of despair mortality rate led to an increase in the Republican (GOP) vote share of 2.36 percentage points. Prior studies have linked voting outcomes to economic trends such as income inequality, import competition, and financial crises, but controlling for these and other economic and demographic factors does not substantially change my estimates. Estimates are larger and only statistically significant in later years (2016-2020), compared to earlier years (2004-2012). There were stronger effects in counties that the GOP candidate won in the previous election, and in counties with higher White population percentages. The results are maintained when using an instrumental variables approach to mitigate endogeneity concerns.
    Keywords: deaths of despair, elections, opioid epidemic, political polarization
    JEL: I18 I1 D72 I38
    Date: 2023–10
  6. By: Yawovi Mawussé Isaac Amedanou (CERDI - Centre d'Études et de Recherches sur le Développement International - IRD - Institut de Recherche pour le Développement - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UCA - Université Clermont Auvergne); Yannick Bouterige (FERDI - Fondation pour les Etudes et Recherches sur le Développement International); Bertrand Laporte (CERDI - Centre d'Études et de Recherches sur le Développement International - IRD - Institut de Recherche pour le Développement - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UCA - Université Clermont Auvergne)
    Abstract: Our study addresses the issue of rent sharing and its determinants for the copper-producing countries in Africa and Latin America, which are among the world's leading copper producers. We use an original database to construct our mining tax policy indicator, the average effective tax rate (AETR), and combine it with four other databases to study its determinants. We pay particular attention to political regimes, political environments, and government party affiliations to explain mining tax policies. Our main results suggest that a democratic regime is likely to capture a larger share of the rent than an autocratic regime. Our results also show that the institutional environment, regardless of the political regime, influences rent sharing, as does EITI adoption. Finally, our results suggest that left-wing governments capture a larger share of the rent than right-wing and centrist ones. However, whatever the political regime or the political affiliation of the governments in place, the share of the rent captured by the State remains low about the theory of optimal taxation.
    Keywords: Rent sharing, Copper, government-take, political regime, Political environment, government party affiliation, Transparency
    Date: 2023–09–14
  7. By: Simplice A. Asongu (Johannesburg, South Africa); Cheikh T. Ndour (Dakar, Senegal); Judith C. M. Ngoungou (Yaoundé, Cameroon)
    Abstract: Motivated by the difficulty of ensuring gender equality and the chaotic state of democracy, we analyze the effects of gender political inclusion and democracy on environmental policy performance. The study uses a panel of 45 African countries over the period 2012-2018 and employs the method of moments by quantile regression. The results show that, gender political inclusion and democracy positively affect environmental performance in all quantiles. These positive effects tend to be stronger at higher quantiles. The magnitude is larger for gender political inclusion. When performance is decomposed into the sub-indices of environmental health and ecosystem vitality, positive effects of gender political inclusion and democracy are observed in all quantiles. The effects are larger for the gender dimension than for the democracy dimension, regardless of the sub-index used.
    Keywords: Gender political inclusion; democracy; environmental performance; regression quantile method of moments; Africa
    JEL: J13 Q56 C31 C33
    Date: 2023–01
  8. By: Gianmarco Daniele; Gemma Dipoppa; Massimo Pulejo
    Abstract: Surveys across countries indicate that female politicians are more often targets of violence compared to males. Why are women attacked more? Is this due to their gender, or to correlated factors? We provide the first causal evidence that violence is driven by gender: leveraging 12 years of data on attacks against Italian politicians, we show that marginally elected female mayors, similar in all respects to their male colleagues, are attacked three times more. We argue that violence can stem from two distinct sources: identity-based motives and divergent policymaking. Attacks concentrate where female empowerment in politics is highest, consistent with a misogynistic backlash hypothesis. Instead, there are no gender differences in expenditures and corruption, indicating that women’s policies do not motivate attacks. Violence can have pernicious consequences: female mayors are less likely to rerun for office after an attack, underscoring how violence may foster the persistence of the political gender gap.
    Date: 2023
  9. By: Budraitskis, Ilya (Будрайтскис, Илья) (The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration); Vanunts, Georgy (Ванунц, Георгий) (The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration); Yegorova, A. (Егорова, А.) (The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration); Zapolskaya, A. (Запольская, А.) (The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration); Yudin, Grigory (Юдин, Григорий) (The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration)
    Abstract: The subject of our research is the evolution of the concept of "freedom" in liberal political thought at the end of the 19th century – first half of the 20th century, as well as its influence on further academic discussions of "freedom" as a concept. Our main sources, therefore, are the texts by liberal, conservative as well as left-wing theorists of the period in question (Isaiah Berlin, Carl Schmitt, Edmund Burke, Max Weber, Joseph Schumpeter, Walter Benjamin) and their interconnections with the subsequent development of the liberal tradition (Jurgen Habermas, Hannah Arendt) as well as its critics (Giorgio Agamben, Judith Butler). The aim of the project was to confirm our basic hypothesis that the key transformation of the concept of "freedom" in political and social thought takes place at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries – this was the moment when liberal doctrines took shape, in which collective freedom gave way to individual freedom. Thus, our project had three objectives: 1) to trace the transformation of the notion of freedom in the liberal tradition of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, 2) to identify lines of criticism of individual freedom in conservative and leftist thought of the early twentieth century, 3) to analyze the current crisis of liberalism related to the non-democratic basis of actual political representation and to show how the notion of freedom formed in early twentieth century liberal theory has affected the institutions of modern liberal democracy. The relevance of the research is determined by the deepening crisis of liberalism in our days and the pursuit of programmatic alternatives to liberal democratic institutions. Through an analysis based primarily on the "history of concepts" method, we have described the contradictions in liberal thought associated with the form of the democratic process and its elitist content. The scientific novelty of this study lies in the fact that, for the first time in domestic political theory, an attempt was made to examine the key category of "freedom" in the liberal tradition in a broad historical and theoretical context, which made it possible to identify its contemporary understanding. We conclude that this anti-democratic and anti-egalitarian element of the liberal tradition has common origins with the conservative critique of democracy of the early to mid-20th century. Since the Russian Federation's policy documents (in particular, the National Security Strategy) pay considerable attention to rethinking the relationship between individual freedoms and securing the collective freedom of the Russian people in the face of external challenges, the practical recommendation of the study is to further develop an original historical and theoretical concept of freedom that meets the contemporary conditions of our country.
    Keywords: democracy, conservatism, politics, freedom, republicanism, liberalism, neoliberalism, political theology, political subject, political sphere
    JEL: B10 B30
    Date: 2021–11–12
  10. By: Benjamin Enke
    Abstract: This article reviews the growing economics literature that studies the politico-economic impacts of heterogeneity in moral boundaries across individuals and cultures. The so-called universalism-versus-particularism cleavage has emerged as a main organizing principle behind various salient features of contemporary political competition, including individual-level and spatial variation in voting, the realignment of rich liberals and poor conservatives, the internal structure of ideology, and the moral content of political messaging. A recurring theme is that the explanatory power of universalism for left-wing policy views and voting is considerably larger than that of traditional economic variables. Looking at the origins of heterogeneity in universalism, an emerging consensus is that cross-group variation is partly economically functional and reflects that morality evolved to support cooperation in economic production. This insight organizes much work on how kinship systems, market exposure, political institutions and ecology have shaped universalism through their impacts on the relative benefits of localized and impersonal interactions.
    JEL: D01 D03 D70
    Date: 2023–09
  11. By: Tomic, Slobodan; Rauh, William Jonathan
    Abstract: Despite omnipresence of oversight bodies, they operate with varying levels of success across countries. Systemic studies of performance of oversight bodies are rare and most with positive findings have been conducted within single countries and operate under neo-institutionalist paradigms. In this study we propose ways in which political culture mediates the effectiveness of oversight bodies. Using data from 62 countries we develop a series of grouped time series models to examine how established measures of political culture affect horizontal accountability. The findings suggest a strong relationship between culture and the effectiveness of horizontal accountability institutions.
    Date: 2023–09–19

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