Parties, Power and Patronage : Papers in Political Economy
Sammanfattning: This thesis consists of three empirical essays in political economics."Shades of Brown and Green: Party Effects in Proportional Election Systems" is the first paper to develop a method for estimating the causal effect of party representation in proportional election systems. This method is applied to Swedish municipalities. The results show that party representation has a large effect on immigration policy and environmental policy. Parties profiling themselves in a policy area also have the largest effects on it. There is no evidence for party representation having an effect on tax policy."Midterm Slumps in US State Elections: Coattails, Power Balancing, or Referenda?" examines midterm slumps in US state legislatures and the mechanisms that cause them. The results show that the party of the governor systematically loses legislative seats in the midterm elections. Through the use of a regression discontinuity design it can be ruled out that this is caused by a surge-and-decline type mechanism. Instead, the results suggest that the midterm slump can be attributed, in about equal shares, to the midterm elections being a referendum on gubernatorial performance and the voters using the midterms for balancing of power."Patronage and Elections in U.S. States" examines if control over patronage jobs increased a political party's probability of winning elections in US States. A patronage system is a practice where a political party, after winning an election, reward their supporters by giving them government jobs. The essay provides evidence that patronage does -- or, rather, did -- help U.S. parties in power to retain it. There is also evidence for an "entrenched" party in power for a longer time period can use patronage more effectively than a "weak" party that usually is out of power.
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