Concurrent Elections and Political Accountability: Evidence from Italian Local Elections

Bracco, Emanuele and Revelli, Federico (2017) Concurrent Elections and Political Accountability: Evidence from Italian Local Elections. Working Paper. Lancaster University, Department of Economics, Lancaster.

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This paper analyses the effects of holding concurrent elections in multi-tiered government structures on turnout decision and voting behaviour, based on municipal and provincial electoral data from Italy during the 2000s. When the less-salient provincial elections are held concurrently with the highly salient municipal elections, we observe three main effects: (1) turnout increases significantly by almost ten percentage points; (2) issues that are specific of the more salient (mayoral) contest affect the less salient (provincial) contest, with mayors' fiscal decisions impacting on the vote share of provincial incumbents; (3) issues that are specific to the less salient (provincial) contest stop affecting provincial elections outcomes. These findings shed light on how voters acquire information on incumbent politicians, and proves that the effectiveness of an election as an accountability tool may be hindered by the concurrence with higher-stakes elections.

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Monograph (Working Paper)
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17 May 2017 08:08
Last Modified:
22 Jul 2024 00:39