Electoral Rules and Politicians' Behavior: A Micro Test

38 Pages Posted: 23 May 2008

See all articles by Stefano Gagliarducci

Stefano Gagliarducci

University of Rome, Tor Vergata - Faculty of Economics; Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Tommaso Nannicini

Bocconi University - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Paolo Naticchioni

University of Rome I; University of Cassino

Date Written: February 2008

Abstract

Theory predicts that the majoritarian electoral system should produce more targeted redistribution and lower politicians' rents than proportional representation. We test these predictions using micro data for the mixed-member Italian House of Representatives, which allow us to sidestep the identification problems of previous studies based on country-level data. In particular, we address the nonrandom selection into different electoral systems by exploiting a distinctive feature of the Italian two-tier elections from 1994 to 2006: candidates could run for both the majoritarian and the proportional tier, but if they won in both tiers they had to accept the majoritarian seat. Focusing on elections decided by a narrow margin allows us to generate quasi-experimental estimates of the impact of the electoral rule. The main results confirm theoretical predictions, as majoritarian representatives put forward a higher proportion of bills targeted at local areas and show lower absenteeism rates than their proportional colleagues.

Keywords: electoral rule, politicians, targeted redistribution, rent-seeking, regression discontinuity design, treatment effect

JEL Classification: C20, D72, D78, P16

Suggested Citation

Gagliarducci, Stefano and Nannicini, Tommaso and Naticchioni, Paolo, Electoral Rules and Politicians' Behavior: A Micro Test (February 2008). IZA Working Paper No. 3348. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1135924 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.0042-7092.2007.00700.x

Stefano Gagliarducci (Contact Author)

University of Rome, Tor Vergata - Faculty of Economics ( email )

Via Columbia n.2
Rome, rome 00100
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/stefanogagliarducci/

Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF) ( email )

Via Due Macelli, 73
Rome, 00187
Italy

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Tommaso Nannicini

Bocconi University - Department of Economics ( email )

Via Gobbi 5
Milan, 20136
Italy

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Paolo Naticchioni

University of Rome I ( email )

Piazzale Aldo Moro 5
Roma, Rome 00185
Italy

University of Cassino ( email )

Cassino
Italy

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