Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics
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Department of Economics, Uppsala University Working Paper Series, Department of Economics, Uppsala University

No 2004:2:
Do Politicians’ Preferences Correspond to those of the Voters? An Investigation of Political Representation

Matz Dahlberg (), Eva Mörk () and Hanna Ågren

Abstract: This paper investigates to what extent voters and politicians have the same preferences for locally provided welfare services. We make use of two different types of survey questionnaires; one directed towards voters and one directed towards politicians. We reach two main conclusions in the paper. First, we find that politicians have preferences for significantly different spending on locally provided welfare services compared to voters. Second, this difference remains even after controlling for politicians and voters having different socio-economic characteristics. For example, when analyzing female representation, we find that female politicians have significantly different preferences for spending than female voters. One implication of the latter result is that an increase in the ratio of female to male politicians may not be the only way to deal with the desire to increase the political representation of women.

Keywords: Political representation; local public; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: C35; H40; H72; (follow links to similar papers)

34 pages, January 20, 2004

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This paper is published as:
Dahlberg, Matz, Eva Mörk and Hanna Ågren, (2006), 'Do Politicians’ Preferences Correspond to those of the Voters? An Investigation of Political Representation', Public Choice, Vol. 130, No. 1-2, pages 137-162

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