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Essays on Empirical Political Economy and Public Policy

Dates:
  • Fri 04 Dec 2020 11.00 - 13.00
  Add to Calendar 2020-12-04 11:00 2020-12-04 13:00 Europe/Paris Essays on Empirical Political Economy and Public Policy

This thesis is a collection of independent empirical essays in the fields of political economy and public policy.

The first chapter investigates the electoral effects of a local public good provision, using a local food subsidy program that took place in Turkey, 2019. Exploiting the variation in the geographical distances of voters from the grocery stores of this subsidy program, I establish three distinct results. First, I document the causal effect of the subsidy program on the incumbent vote share. Second, I show that the electoral effects of the program are conditioned by partisanship. More specifically, the effects on turnout are heterogeneous and countervailing across partisans of incumbent and opposition, whereas the effects on the incumbent vote share do not change across different partisan groups. Finally, I find that much of the electoral effects of the program come from areas where voters are uniformly partisans of either party, rather than from those areas with mixed partisan profiles.

The second chapter investigates the evolution of class distinctiveness in economic preferences across countries and over time. It is widely assumed that class divisions in economic preferences have become increasingly blurred over time due to higher living standards. Nonetheless, the previous literature lacks a systematic method to quantify the extent of this blurring of class divisions --if it exists at all-- and to track its evolution over time and across space. To this end, I first develop a new measure of class distinctiveness using predictive modeling. I then estimate this new measure in 18 European countries for three points in time using micro-level survey data. After validating the newly developed measure, I test whether the variation in the strength of class-based voting can be explained by the class distinctiveness in economic preferences.

In the third chapter, co-authored with Nicole Stoelinga, we test whether hosting or bidding on the Olympic games leads to an increase in the exports of the host and bidding countries. Previous studies on this question provide mixed findings and typically suffer from empirical problems such as selection bias. We re-evaluate this problem by applying a synthetic control approach. Our results indicate that hosting or bidding on the Olympic Games may affect exports positively or negatively. The sign of this effect is partly explained by countries' initial reputation in terms of trade.

Outside EUI premises - DD/MM/YYYY
  Outside EUI premises -

This thesis is a collection of independent empirical essays in the fields of political economy and public policy.

The first chapter investigates the electoral effects of a local public good provision, using a local food subsidy program that took place in Turkey, 2019. Exploiting the variation in the geographical distances of voters from the grocery stores of this subsidy program, I establish three distinct results. First, I document the causal effect of the subsidy program on the incumbent vote share. Second, I show that the electoral effects of the program are conditioned by partisanship. More specifically, the effects on turnout are heterogeneous and countervailing across partisans of incumbent and opposition, whereas the effects on the incumbent vote share do not change across different partisan groups. Finally, I find that much of the electoral effects of the program come from areas where voters are uniformly partisans of either party, rather than from those areas with mixed partisan profiles.

The second chapter investigates the evolution of class distinctiveness in economic preferences across countries and over time. It is widely assumed that class divisions in economic preferences have become increasingly blurred over time due to higher living standards. Nonetheless, the previous literature lacks a systematic method to quantify the extent of this blurring of class divisions --if it exists at all-- and to track its evolution over time and across space. To this end, I first develop a new measure of class distinctiveness using predictive modeling. I then estimate this new measure in 18 European countries for three points in time using micro-level survey data. After validating the newly developed measure, I test whether the variation in the strength of class-based voting can be explained by the class distinctiveness in economic preferences.

In the third chapter, co-authored with Nicole Stoelinga, we test whether hosting or bidding on the Olympic games leads to an increase in the exports of the host and bidding countries. Previous studies on this question provide mixed findings and typically suffer from empirical problems such as selection bias. We re-evaluate this problem by applying a synthetic control approach. Our results indicate that hosting or bidding on the Olympic Games may affect exports positively or negatively. The sign of this effect is partly explained by countries' initial reputation in terms of trade.


Location:
Outside EUI premises -

Affiliation:
Department of Economics

Type:
Thesis defence

Co-Supervisor:
Prof. Arthur Schram (Department of Economics, EUI / UvA)

Supervisor:
Prof. David Levine (Washington University in St. Louis & EUI)

Defendant:
Mustafa Kaba

Examiner:
Daniela Iorio (EUI - Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies)
Prof. Cemal Eren Arbatli (National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow)

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