Polarization in Parliamentary Speach

61 Pages Posted: 20 Jan 2021

See all articles by Jon H. Fiva

Jon H. Fiva

Norwegian School of Management (BI) - Department of Economics

Oda Nedregård

BI Norwegian Business School

Henning Øien

Norwegian Institute of Public Health

Date Written: 2021

Abstract

We study political polarization in a parliamentary setting dominated by strong parties. In addition to examining polarization along the left-right dimension, we consider political divergence between legislators belonging to the same political bloc. Are politicians’ background characteristics unimportant when parties have powerful tools to discipline their rank-and-file? We investigate this question using legislative speech from the Norwegian Parliament and recently developed techniques for measuring group differences in high-dimensional choices. Across the background characteristics we consider — gender, age, urbanicity, and class background — we document substantial differences in speech, even when comparing legislators from the same party bloc and policy committee. Our results illuminate how individual legislators shape policymaking in party-centered environments.

JEL Classification: D720

Suggested Citation

Fiva, Jon H. and Nedregård, Oda and Øien, Henning, Polarization in Parliamentary Speach (2021). CESifo Working Paper No. 8818, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3767690 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3767690

Jon H. Fiva (Contact Author)

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

Oslo
Norway

Oda Nedregård

BI Norwegian Business School ( email )

Nydalsveien 37
Oslo, 0442
Norway

Henning Øien

Norwegian Institute of Public Health ( email )

PO Box 4404
Nydalen, N-0403
Oslo
Norway

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