Political competition and politician quality: evidence from Italian municipalities
- 375 Downloads
We use data from Italian local level governments for the years 1985–2008 to investigate whether political competition affects the quality of politicians, as measured by some ex-ante characteristics such as educational level and type of job held. We handle endogeneity problems through an instrumental variable approach using as an instrument for political competition a variable taking into account whether the previous Municipal Council survived until the end of its legislative term. Two Stage Least Square estimates support the view that political competition positively affects politician quality. Results are robust to different measures of political competition and to different estimation strategies.
KeywordsPolitical competition Politicians Political selection
JEL ClassificationD72 D78 J45
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Ashworth, J., Geys, B., Heyndels, B., & Wille, F. (2006). Political competition and local government performance: evidence from Flemish municipalities (Mimeo). Google Scholar
- Besley, T., Persson, T., & Sturm, D. (2008). Political competition, policy and growth: theory and evidence from the United States London School of Economics, London Google Scholar
- Galasso, V., & Nannicini, T. (2009). Competing on good politicians. IZA discussion paper No. 4282. Google Scholar
- Kiss, A. (2009b). Divisive politics and accountability, presented at EPCS 2009 in Athens (Greece), 2–5 April 2009. Google Scholar
- Merlo, A. (2006). Whither political economy? Theories, facts and issues. In: Blundell, R., Newey, W., Persson, T. (eds.), Advances in economics and econometrics: theory and applications. Econometric Society Monographs. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Google Scholar
- Persson, T., & Tabellini, G. (2000). Political economics: explaining economic policy. Cambridge: MIT Press. Google Scholar
- Polo, M. (1998). Electoral competition and political rents. IGIER working paper, 144. Google Scholar
- Svensson, J. (1998). Controlling spending: electoral competition, polarization and endogenous platforms (Mimeo). Stockholm University, Stockholm Google Scholar
- Wittman, D. (1995). The myth of democratic failure: why political institutions are efficient. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Google Scholar
- Zhang, Y., & Congleton, R. (2008). Is it all about competence? The human capital of U.S. presidents and economic performance (Mimeo) George Mason University. Google Scholar