With a Little Help from My Friends. Political Competition with Interest Groups
50 Pages Posted: 4 May 2021 Last revised: 28 Oct 2022
Date Written: April 23, 2021
Higher electoral competition reinforces the position of special interest groups, which can endorse politicians in exchange for the support of specific policies. This paper formalizes this intuition and test it on Italian electoral data, using the 1991 electoral reform as an exogenous source of variation in electoral competition. Focusing on organized crime as a form of special interest group, our differences-in-differences estimates suggest that, after the reform, organized crime-prone areas reported higher vote shares awarded to the party traditionally supported by criminal organizations and a larger dispersion of votes across candidates of the same party.
Keywords: Political competition, Special Interest Politics
JEL Classification: D72, P16
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation