Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Quality of Politicians and Electoral System. Evidence from a Quasi-experimental Design for Italian Cities

De Benedetto, Marco Alberto (2018): Quality of Politicians and Electoral System. Evidence from a Quasi-experimental Design for Italian Cities.

[img] PDF
MPRA_paper_89511.pdf

Download (1MB)

Abstract

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.

UB_LMU-Logo
MPRA is a RePEc service hosted by
the Munich University Library in Germany.