Seat Competitiveness and Redistricting: Evidence from Voting on Municipal Mergers

38 Pages Posted: 19 Aug 2013 Last revised: 2 Oct 2016

See all articles by Ari Hyytinen

Ari Hyytinen

University of Jyväskylä

Tuukka Saarimaa

Aalto University - School of Business; Aalto University - School of Engineering

Janne Tukiainen

VATT Institute for Economic Research; University of Turku - Turku School of Business - Department of Economics

Date Written: March 24, 2013

Abstract

We analyze how (anticipated) changes in the competitiveness of the seats of municipal councilors affect their voting behavior over municipal mergers. The competitiveness of the seats changes because the merger changes the composition of political competitors and the number of available seats in the next election. We use this variation for identification and find that the smaller the increase in the competitiveness of a councilor's seat, the more likely he is to vote for the merger. These effects are not related to the behavioral responses of the voters, but arise from the councilors’ desire to avoid electoral competition.

Keywords: Seat competitiveness, local politics, municipal mergers

JEL Classification: D720, C360, C350, C340, H770, H110

Suggested Citation

Hyytinen, Ari and Saarimaa, Tuukka and Tukiainen, Janne, Seat Competitiveness and Redistricting: Evidence from Voting on Municipal Mergers (March 24, 2013). Journal of Public Economics, Vol. 120, 2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2284602 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2284602

Ari Hyytinen

University of Jyväskylä ( email )

PO Box 35
Jyväskylä, 40014
Finland

HOME PAGE: http://www.jyu.fi

Tuukka Saarimaa

Aalto University - School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 21210
AALTO, FI-00076
Finland

Aalto University - School of Engineering ( email )

PO BOX 14100
Aalto 00076
Finland

Janne Tukiainen (Contact Author)

VATT Institute for Economic Research ( email )

Arkadiankatu 7
P.O Box 1279
Helsinki, FIN-00101
Finland

University of Turku - Turku School of Business - Department of Economics ( email )

Rehtorinpellonkatu 3
Turku, 20014
Finland

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