Do Individual Heterogeneity and Spatial Correlation Matter? An Innovative Approach to the Characterisation of the European Political Space

13 Pages Posted: 7 Dec 2017 Last revised: 9 Jan 2019

See all articles by Giovanna Iannantuoni

Giovanna Iannantuoni

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid - Department of Economics; Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Economics, Psychology & Social Sciences (CISEPS); Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Department of Economics, Management and Statistics (DEMS)

Elena Manzoni

University of Verona - Department of Economics

Francesca Rossi

University of Verona - Department of Economics

Date Written: December 6, 2017

Abstract

In this paper we refine the interpretation of the European two-dimensional political space and the investigation of its determinants compared to the approach commonly adopted in the spatial voting literature. Specifically, we take into account heterogeneity and cross-correlation among legislators by explicitly including into the model a spatial effect which, in turn, relies on new sets of linguistic, geographical, institutional and cultural metrics. We confirm that the first dimension of the European political space is mainly explained by the Members of European Parliament’s ideological position on a left-right scale. We also find that correlation across legislators plays a significant role in explaining the first dimension when their pairwise distance is defined according to an individual- ism index, which turns out to be closely related to left-right ideology positioning. Even more interestingly, we show that “space” intended in a broad economic sense plays an important role in interpreting the second dimension of the political spectrum. The most relevant metric that induces spatial effects along the second dimension is based on an institutional index. Moreover, we also find that the second dimension is influenced by the gender composition of the political parties.

Keywords: European political space, spatial autoregressions, NOMINATE, proximity matrices, economic distances

JEL Classification: D72, C21

Suggested Citation

Iannantuoni, Giovanna and Manzoni, Elena and Rossi, Francesca, Do Individual Heterogeneity and Spatial Correlation Matter? An Innovative Approach to the Characterisation of the European Political Space (December 6, 2017). University of Milan Bicocca Department of Economics, Management and Statistics Working Paper No. 376, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3083570 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3083570

Giovanna Iannantuoni (Contact Author)

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid - Department of Economics ( email )

Calle Madrid 126
Getafe, 28903
Spain

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Economics, Psychology & Social Sciences (CISEPS) ( email )

Piazza dell'Ateneo Nuovo, 1
Milano, 20126
Italy

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Department of Economics, Management and Statistics (DEMS) ( email )

Piazza dell'Ateneo Nuovo, 1
Milan, 20126
Italy

Elena Manzoni

University of Verona - Department of Economics ( email )

Via dell'Artigliere, 8
37129 Verona
Italy

Francesca Rossi

University of Verona - Department of Economics ( email )

Via dell'Artigliere, 8
37129 Verona
Italy

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