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    Quality of politicians and electoral system. Evidence from a quasi-experimental design for Italian cities

    De Benedetto, M.A. (2018) Quality of politicians and electoral system. Evidence from a quasi-experimental design for Italian cities. Working Paper. Birkbeck, University of London, London, UK.

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    We study the effect of the electoral system on the quality of politicians, measured by the average educational attainment, at the local level in Italy over the period 1994-2017. Since 1993, municipalities below 15,000 inhabitants vote with a single-ballot system, whereas cities above 15,000 inhabitants threshold are subject to a double ballot. Exploiting the discontinuous policy change nearby the population cut-off we have implemented a RDD and found that runoff elections lead to a decrease in the educational attainment of local politicians by about 2% compared to years of schooling of politicians in municipalities voting with a single-ballot scheme. We speculate that the negative effect is driven by the different selection process of candidates adopted by political parties between runoff and single-ballot system. Findings are similar when we use alternative measures of quality of politicians related both to the previous occupation and to previous political experience, and when we control for different measures of political closeness.


    Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
    Additional Information: BCAM 1802; ISSN 1745-8587
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Regression discontinuity design; Electoral system; Education; Political competition
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Business and Law > Birkbeck Business School
    Research Centres and Institutes: Applied Macroeconomics, Birkbeck Centre for
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2019 16:23
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:49


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