Capitalizing on Partisan Politics? The Political Economy of
Sector-Specific Redistribution in Germany
43 Pages Posted: 28 Feb 2007 Last revised: 29 May 2013
Date Written: April 9, 2008
This paper examines the redistributive effects of government partisanship on economic sectors. Based on a rational partisan perspective and policy-induced campaign contribution models we expect that once in office, ideologically different parties deliver favourable policies to different industries, in order to enrich their electoral and sector-specific supporters. Using daily stock market data, we empirically evaluate whether and how the mean and the volatility of returns to four important economic sectors co-varied with the electoral prospects of a right-left-leaning coalition in Germany from 1991 to 2005. This sheds light on the magnitude of sector-specific redistribution to be expected from ideologically different governments holding office. Our estimates show that the mean and the volatility of defence and pharmaceutical sector returns increase if a right-leaning government is becoming more likely to win the upcoming election. In contrast, an increase in the probability of a left-leaning government triggers higher returns to the alternative energy sector and increases the volatility of consumer sector returns. These findings suggest that parties indeed redistribute across industries.
Keywords: Government partisanship, stock market performance, industrial sectors, German federal elections, GARCH modeling, redistribution
JEL Classification: C12, G12, G38
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation