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Public Choice

, Volume 176, Issue 1–2, pp 211–228 | Cite as

Is there a selection bias in roll call votes? Evidence from the European Parliament

  • Simon Hix
  • Abdul Noury
  • Gerard Roland
Article

Abstract

We examine the magnitude and significance of selection bias in roll call votes. Prior to 2009, all recorded (roll call) votes in the European Parliament had to be requested explicitly by European Political Groups. Since 2009, a roll call vote has been mandatory on all final legislative votes. We exploit that change in the rules and compare differences between final legislative votes, amendment votes and non-legislative votes before and after 2009, using a difference-in-differences approach with extensive controls. Using data from the Sixth (2004–2009) to Seventh (2009–2014) European Parliaments, we fail to find any large differences in voting cohesion for the main political groups. We find even less significance when we control for changes in parliamentary membership between those two periods. The results suggest that selection biases in the European Parliament associated with strategic choices are negligible.

Keywords

Roll call votes European Parliament Party discipline Natural experiment Difference in difference estimation 

JEL Classification

P16 P48 D72 D78 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank William Shughart, Howard Rosenthal, and an anonymous referee for very helpful comments. We also thank Matias Iaryczower and Nikoleta Yordanova, for comments on an earlier version of this paper.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.London School of Economics and Political ScienceLondonUK
  2. 2.New York UniversityAbu DhabiUnited Arab Emirates
  3. 3.University of California, Berkeley, CEPR and NBERBerkeleyUSA

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