We analyze the impact that the educational level of candidates runningfor the position of mayor has on electoral turnout by using a large dataset for Italianmunicipal elections held between 1993 and 2011. We firstly estimate a municipalityfixed effects model and show that the median education of candidates standing in anelection is positively correlated with turnout. To handle endogeneity issues arising fromthe unobservable time variant features of electoral races, we build on the literaturewhich shows that politicians’ educational level is positively affected by their wage andapply a Fuzzy Regression Discontinuity Design on the basis of the fact that the wagesof mayors in Italy increase non-monotonically at different thresholds. Results show thatan exogenous increase in the median educational level of candidates, induced by ahigher wage, leads to an increase in turnout of about 1 percentage point.

Candidates’ Education and Turnout: Evidence from Italian Municipal Elections

De Benedetto Marco Alberto;
2017

Abstract

We analyze the impact that the educational level of candidates runningfor the position of mayor has on electoral turnout by using a large dataset for Italianmunicipal elections held between 1993 and 2011. We firstly estimate a municipalityfixed effects model and show that the median education of candidates standing in anelection is positively correlated with turnout. To handle endogeneity issues arising fromthe unobservable time variant features of electoral races, we build on the literaturewhich shows that politicians’ educational level is positively affected by their wage andapply a Fuzzy Regression Discontinuity Design on the basis of the fact that the wagesof mayors in Italy increase non-monotonically at different thresholds. Results show thatan exogenous increase in the median educational level of candidates, induced by ahigher wage, leads to an increase in turnout of about 1 percentage point.
Politicians’ quality; turnout; Fuzzy Regression Discontinuity Design
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11770/142779
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