Tornar a Working Papers

Paper #1861

Do incompetent politicians breed populist voters? Evidence from Italian municipalities
Federico Boffa, Vincenzo Mollisi i Giacomo A. M. Ponzetto
Març 2023
Poor performance by the established political class can drive voters towards anti-establishment outsiders. Is the inffectiveness of incumbent politicians an important driver of the recent rise of populist parties? We provide an empirical test exploiting a sharp discontinuity in the wage of local politicians as a function of population in Italian municipalities. We find that the more skilled local politicians and more effective local government in municipalities above the threshold cause a signi…cant drop in voter support for the populist Five-Star Movement in regional and national elections. Support for incumbent governing parties increases instead.
Paraules clau:
Populism, Government e¢ ciency, Politician quality, Political agency
Codis JEL:
D72, D73, H70
Àrea de Recerca:
Macroeconomia i Economia Internacional

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