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Tilburg Law and Economics Center

TILEC supports and stimulates academic research on the governance of economic activity. It fosters academically path breaking and practically relevant research and aims to be a leading center worldwide.

TILEC Seminar: Patricia Funk (Universita della Svizzera Italiana)

Policy Choices in Assembly versus Representative Democracy: Evidence from Swiss Communes
10:45-11:45, M 1003

Patricia Funk currently holds the position of Full Professor in Economics at Università della Svizzera italiana (USI). Previous positions held were Associate Professor at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra and Affiliated Professor at the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics. Her research is on social incentives and behaviour, political institutions, and gender. Her work has been published in various international journals such as the Review of Economics and Statistics, the Journal of the European Economic Association, the Economic Journal and Management Science.

Policy Choices in Assembly versus Representative Democracy: Evidence from Swiss Communes

This paper investigates whether the form of the legislative institution - assembly versus parliament - affects the level and composition of local public expenditure. Our event study analysis focuses on medium-sized and mostly German-speaking communes that switched from assembly to parliament from 1945 to 2010. Event study estimates suggest that parliament adoption increases total spending by about 6 percent and that this increase is driven mostly by general administration and education spending. To understand a potential mechanism at play, we run a survey among assembly participants and document a sizeable under-representation of 20- to 40-year-olds, as well as of women in assemblies compared to both the electorate and to voters in elections. Switching from assembly democracy to parliament in our setting therefore seems to increase the representation of two demographics that are known for their relatively strong preferences for education spending.


When: 30 January 2019 10:45

End date: 30 January 2019 11:45