Local Candidates and Distributive Politics Under Closed-List Proportional Representation

36 Pages Posted: 16 Jul 2018

See all articles by Jon H. Fiva

Jon H. Fiva

Norwegian School of Management (BI) - Department of Economics

Askill Harkjerr Halse

University of Oslo; Institute of Transport Economics

Daniel M. Smith

Harvard University - Department of Government

Date Written: May 14, 2018

Abstract

Geographic representation is an important consideration in candidate nominations, even under closed-list proportional representation (PR), and may even matter for distributive policy outcomes. However, since nominations are determined strategically, the causal effects of local representation are difficult to identify. We investigate the relationship between local representation and electoral and distributive politics in the closed-list PR setting of Norway. Exploiting as-good-as-random election outcomes for marginal candidates, we find that parties obtain higher support in subsequent elections in the hometowns of narrowly-elected candidates. This effect appears to be driven by the local candidate appearing at the top of the party list in the next election. However, we find no evidence that representation results in geographically targeted policy benefits going to the candidates’ hometowns.

Keywords: distributive politics, representation, voting behavior

JEL Classification: D720

Suggested Citation

Fiva, Jon H. and Halse, Askill Harkjerr and Smith, Daniel M., Local Candidates and Distributive Politics Under Closed-List Proportional Representation (May 14, 2018). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 7039. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3207136

Jon H. Fiva (Contact Author)

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

Oslo
Norway

Askill Harkjerr Halse

University of Oslo ( email )

PO Box 6706 St Olavs plass
Oslo, N-0317
Norway

Institute of Transport Economics ( email )

NO-0349
Oslo
Norway

Daniel M. Smith

Harvard University - Department of Government ( email )

1737 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/danielmarkhamsmith

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