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  • > Popular, but not powerful: Local candidates under closed-list proportional representation

Popular, but not powerful: Local candidates under closed-list proportional representation

Forfattere: Jon Hernes Fiva, Askill Harkjerr Halse, Daniel M. Smith
Rapportnr: 8594/2018
Språk: English

Geographic representation is considered to be an important factor in candidate nominations, even under closed-list proportional representation (PR), and may also matter for distributive policy outcomes. However, since nominations are determined strategically, the causal effects of representation for local areas are difficult to iden-tify. We study candidate nominations, voter behavior, and distributive policies in the closed-list PR setting of Norway (1953-2013). Exploiting as-good-as-random election outcomes for candidates who are marginally close to winning a seat in parliament, we find that parties obtain higher support in subsequent elections in the hometowns of narrowly-elected candidates. This effect appears to be driven by an increase in the probability of having the local candidate at the top of the party list in the next election. However, we find no effect of local representation on geographically targeted policy benefits for the hometown. Our results suggest that local candidates under closed-list PR are able to attract and mobilize local voters, but either do not have the power to obtain distributive benefits for their localities, or are not interested in seeking them.

      

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