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Title: Do national political parties matter? Evidence from Italian municipalities
Author: Gamalerio, Matteo
Keywords: Partits polítics
Disciplina de partit
Responsabilitat fiscal
Administració municipal
Political parties
Party discipline
Fiscal responsibility
Municipal government
Issue Date: Jun-2020
Publisher: Elsevier
Abstract: Recently several countries have experienced a drop in popularity of national political parties, accompanied by the success of independent movements (e.g. 'Civic Lists' in Italy). I exploit the success of 'Civic Lists' in Italian municipalities and use them as a comparison group for party-affiliated politicians, to test whether national parties affect fiscal discipline. Using a Regression Discontinuity Design (RDD), I show that party-affiliated mayors are more fiscally responsible: they run lower deficits, accumulate less debt and reduce expenditures. The effect is significant only for municipalities not constrained by fiscal rules. This suggests that national parties act as a substitute for fiscal rules in constraining politicians. Besides, I provide evidence that the discipline of party-affiliated politicians is linked to better career prospects: party-affiliated mayors have a higher probability of being re-elected and better chances of being promoted to higher levels of government. Alternative stories find less support in the data.
Note: Versió postprint del document publicat a:
It is part of: European Journal of Political Economy, 2020, vol. 63, num. 101862
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ISSN: 0176-2680
Appears in Collections:Articles publicats en revistes (Economia)

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