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Occasional Political Economy Seminar Series

OPESS - SPS

OPESS

The Occasional Political Economy Seminar Series (OPESS) presents speakers working in the area of political economy. Presentations are of papers that use economic methods as well as papers that substantively study the intersection of economics and politics. The series is organized by Miriam Golden and Natalia Garbiras-Díaz, along with Susanna Garside and Julian Vierlinger.

The Team

What is OPESS?

OPESS presents speakers working in the area of political economy. Presentations are of papers that use economic methods as well as papers that substantively study the intersection of economics and politics. Presentations are expected to run for 30-40 minutes, followed by an hour of open discussion. Following the events, discussants and participants may join the speaker and organizers for dinner –– unfortunately, this will have to be at their own expense. Participants may also sign up to meet up with speakers outside the event –– for example to show them around on EUI premises.

Registration is required for online attendance. Attendance is generally restricted to members of the EUI community.

register here

When?

OPESS meets occasionally on Thursdays from 5:00-6:30pm, and not more often than every other week.

Where?

Badia Fiesolana, EUI. See below for the exact location for each meeting. The event is in-person and on-line. Registration is required for online attendance. Attendance is generally restricted to members of the EUI community.

 

Speakers during Fall 2022

Nonunitary Parties, Government Formation, and Gamson’s Law

Abstract
Following the coalition literature highlighting intraparty politics (e.g., Giannetti and Benoit 2009; Laver 1999; Strøm 2003), I address the well-known “portfolio allocation paradox” (Warwick and Druckman 2006) by introducing a new model of government formation based on two main assumptions. First, no actor has a structural advantage in the negotiations leading to government formation. Second, all actors who can deprive the coalition of a majority (or other critical threshold size) must be included in the negotiations—not just parties. Whereas standard bargaining models are inconsistent with Gamson’s Law, the model proposed here implies that equilibrium portfolio allocations should be mostly Gamsonian but with a small-party bias, as the empirical literature has long found. Empirically, I show that my model outperforms the literature’s standard specification (due to Browne and Franklin 1973). Moreover, one of the model’s new predictions—that candidate-centered electoral rules should promote more Gamsonian portfolio allocations—is supported.

Location: Seminar Room 2

Discussant: Daniel Goldstein

View Speakers Profile: Gary Cox

 

Convictions for Corruption and Government Approval: Global Evidence. Co-authored with Feng Yang (Peking University).

Abstract
In this paper, we investigate whether incumbent governments benefit politically from the punishment of corruption. Using an original data set on convictions from across the world and nationally representative surveys for 160 countries from 2006 to 2019, we show that convicting former heads of government for corruption reduces citizens' perceptions of corruption and boosts government support. We demonstrate that these effects last for approximately two years and are attenuated by a decision by the executive to pardon the conviction. These results inform debates on the political implications of anti-corruption, showing that convictions help to strengthen governments' hold on power.

Location: Emeroteca

Discussant: Anna Clemente

View speakers profile: Manoel Gehrke

Corruption and the Rise of Political Outsiders: Evidence from Audits and Elections in Brazil

Abstract
In this paper, I assess how changes in voter awareness of valence issues may influence not only voters but also candidate strategies. While revelations about corruption have been shown to influence citizens' votes, less is known about how outsiders take advantage of the increased opportunity to enter the electoral race. I construct a new measure of candidates' use of anti-corruption rhetoric using the manifestos registered by more than fifty thousand mayoral candidates in Brazil who ran for election between 2012 and 2020. I show that outsider candidates are, in general, more likely to resort to anti-corruption appeals. I then exploit the revelation of corruption in Brazilian mayoral accounts, using random annual audits conducted by the federal government to test whether outsider candidates are more likely to take advantage of changes in the salience of corruption. The results indicate that municipalities exposed to this valence shock experienced greater entry of outsider candidates. This paper points to how changes in corruption salience can help overcome barriers to entry for outside candidates; in doing so, it calls for future research on the potential effects on risks of democratic backsliding.

Location: Seminar Room 2

Discussant: Marta Korczak

View Speakers Profile: Natalia Garbiras-Diaz

State Capacity as an Organizational Problem. Evidence from the growth of the US State over 100 years. Co-authored with Edoardo Teso (Northwestern University).

Abstract
We study the process of modernization of the State through the lenses of the U.S. federal government, analysing how its bureaucratic structure, selection and promotion policies changes from 1816 to 1905. We digitize archival records containing the roster of all U.S. federal employees over this period, with information on their position in the bureaucratic hierarchy, specific occupation and compensation. The data contains information on the name, place of residence and place of birth of all employees, which allows to track their careers over time and to match them to historical censuses data. Using this unique dataset, we can study the organization of a State over the different stages of its development, and document how its organizational characteristics change during the process of modernization.

Location: Seminar Room 2

Discussant: Dylan Potts

View Speakers Profile: Nicola Mastrorocco

 


Page last updated on 17/10/2022

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