Munich Personal RePEc Archive

A dirty deed done dirt cheap: reporting the blame of a national reform on local politicians

Cassette, Aurélie and Farvaque, Etienne (2015): A dirty deed done dirt cheap: reporting the blame of a national reform on local politicians.

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Abstract

This paper tests the hypothesis that upper-level governments can transfer the accountability of the costs of a reform to a lower one. The reform of the school rhythm in France provides the ground for a verification of this hypothesis, as it was nationally decided and locally implemented, right before a municipal election. The results confirm that local incumbents have taken the blame of the reform, especially in larger cities and if they belong to the governing coalition. In this case, thus, the cost of the reform is borne twice by the lower level of government, financially and politically, offering a double gain to the government. That mayors who have announced a boycott of the reform have received electoral gains confirms the perception of the local cost of the reform.

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