Incumbent Effects and Partisan Alignment in Local Elections: A Regression Discontinuity Analysis Using Italian Data

46 Pages Posted: 23 Jan 2013

See all articles by Emanuele Bracco

Emanuele Bracco

Lancaster University

Francesco Porcelli

University of Warwick

Michela Redoano

University of Warwick - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Date Written: January 23, 2013

Abstract

This paper provides a simple model to explain effect of political alignment between different tiers of government on policy choices and election outcomes. We derive precise predictions that, as long as voters attribute most of the credit for providing public goods to the local government: (i) aligned municipalities receive more grants, set lower taxes and provide more public goods, (ii) the probability that the local incumbent is re-elected is higher in aligned municipalities compared to not aligned ones. Our empirical strategy to identify the alignment effects is built upon the fact that being or not aligned changes discontinuously at 50% of the vote share of local parties. This allows us to use sharp regression discontinuity design. Our theoretical predictions are largely confirmed using a new dataset on Italian public finance and electoral data at the central and local level.

Keywords: fiscal federalism, political competition, accountability

JEL Classification: H200, H770, H870, D700

Suggested Citation

Bracco, Emanuele and Porcelli, Francesco and Redoano, Michela, Incumbent Effects and Partisan Alignment in Local Elections: A Regression Discontinuity Analysis Using Italian Data (January 23, 2013). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 4061, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2205610

Emanuele Bracco

Lancaster University ( email )

Lancaster - LA1 4YW
United Kingdom

Francesco Porcelli

University of Warwick ( email )

Gibbet Hill Rd.
Coventry, West Midlands CV4 8UW
United Kingdom

Michela Redoano (Contact Author)

University of Warwick - Department of Economics ( email )

Coventry CV4 7AL
United Kingdom
+44 24 7652 3474 (Phone)
+44 24 7652 3032 (Fax)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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