We analyse how the presence of an incumbent among candidates at an election affects electoral turnout.We use a rich data set which provides information on the results of Italian municipal elections over the period 1993e2011. We find that the impact of incumbency is heterogeneous acrossgeographical areas: incumbency produces a positive effect on turnout in the South of Italy, whereas wefind a negative and statistically significant effect in the North. We speculate that the north-southdivergence is related to differences in social capital and in clientelistic relationships established byincumbent politicians. Our conjecture finds support when we look separately at municipalities in thelower and upper quartile of the social capital distribution and at municipalities with high or low densities of organised crime.

The Impact of Incumbency on Turnout. Evidence from Italian Municipalities

DE PAOLA, Maria
;
DE BENEDETTO M. A.
2016

Abstract

We analyse how the presence of an incumbent among candidates at an election affects electoral turnout.We use a rich data set which provides information on the results of Italian municipal elections over the period 1993e2011. We find that the impact of incumbency is heterogeneous acrossgeographical areas: incumbency produces a positive effect on turnout in the South of Italy, whereas wefind a negative and statistically significant effect in the North. We speculate that the north-southdivergence is related to differences in social capital and in clientelistic relationships established byincumbent politicians. Our conjecture finds support when we look separately at municipalities in thelower and upper quartile of the social capital distribution and at municipalities with high or low densities of organised crime.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11770/132035
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