The Power of Parties: Evidence from Close Municipal Elections in Norway

28 Pages Posted: 29 Dec 2017

See all articles by Jon H. Fiva

Jon H. Fiva

Norwegian School of Management (BI) - Department of Economics

Olle Folke

Uppsala University - Department of Government

Rune Sørensen

BI Norwegian Business School

Date Written: January 2018

Abstract

We show that small shifts in representation can affect policy in proportional election systems. Using data from Norway, we find that a larger left‐wing party leads to more property taxation, higher childcare spending, and lower elderly care spending, while local public goods appear to be a non‐partisan issue. These effects are partly due to shifts in bloc majorities, and partly due to changes in the left–right position of the council, keeping the majority constant. The estimates on spending allocations are rather imprecise, but they are consistent with evidence on politicians' fiscal preferences and patterns in media attention.

Keywords: Fiscal policy, proportional representation, regression discontinuity design

Suggested Citation

Fiva, Jon H. and Folke, Olle and Sørensen, Rune, The Power of Parties: Evidence from Close Municipal Elections in Norway (January 2018). The Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Vol. 120, Issue 1, pp. 3-30, 2018, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3094137 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/sjoe.12229

Jon H. Fiva (Contact Author)

Norwegian School of Management (BI) - Department of Economics ( email )

Oslo
Norway

Olle Folke

Uppsala University - Department of Government ( email )

Scheelevägen 15 D
SE-223 70
Lund
Sweden

Rune Sørensen

BI Norwegian Business School

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