Public Employees as Politicians: Evidence from Close Elections

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Researchers

Research units

  • University of Jyväskylä
  • Stockholm University
  • The London School of Economics and Political Science
  • VATT Institute for Economic Research
  • KU Leuven

Abstract

We analyze the effect of municipal employees' political representation in municipal councils on local public spending. We use within-party, as-good-as-random variation in close elections in the Finnish open-list proportional election system to quantify the effect. One more councilor employed by the public sector increases spending by about 1%. The effect comes largely through the largest party and is specific to the employment sector of the municipal employee. The results are consistent with public employees having an information advantage over other politicians, and thus, being able to influence policy.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-81
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican Political Science Review
Volume112
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

ID: 18878553