Dos buenos papers para entender, entre otras cosas, las causas y consecuencias de la disciplina partidista y, por otro lado, de dónde vienen (y cuánto tardarán en irse) las preferencias redistributivas del electorado que vivió bajo el socialismo.
(Cualquier relación con la disciplina partidista y el voto duro del PRI no es mera coincidencia…)
“Party Discipline and Pork-Barrel Politics”
BY: GENE M. GROSSMAN, Princeton University
ELHANAN HELPMAN, Harvard University
Polities differ in the extent to which political parties can pre-commit to carry out promised policy actions if they take power. Commitment problems may arise due to a divergence between the ex ante incentives facing national parties that seek to capture control of the legislature and the ex post incentives facing individual legislators, whose interests may be more parochial. We study how differences in “party discipline” shape fiscal policy choices. In particular, we examine the determinants of national spending on local public goods in a three-stage game of campaign rhetoric, voting, and legislative decision-making. We find that the rhetoric and reality of pork-barrel spending, and also the efficiency of the spending regime, bear a non-monotonic relationship to the degree of party discipline.
“Good bye Lenin (or not?): The Effect of Communism on People’s Preferences”
BY: ALBERTO F. ALESINA, Harvard University
NICOLA FUCHS-SCHUNDELN, Harvard University
Preferences for redistribution, as well as the generosities of welfare states, differ significantly across countries. In this paper, we test whether there exists a feedback process of the economic regime on individual preferences. We exploit the experiment of German separation and reunification to establish exogeneity of the economic system. From 1945 to 1990, East Germans lived under a Communist regime with heavy state intervention and extensive redistribution. We find that, after German reunification, East Germans are more in favor of redistribution and state intervention than West Germans, even after controlling for economic incentives. This effect is especially strong for older cohorts, who lived under Communism for a longer time period. We find that East Germans’ preferences converge towards those of West Germans, and we calculate that it will take one to two generations for preferences to converge completely.