[gov3009-l] Eggers on "Electoral Rules, Opposition Scrutiny, and Policy Moderation in French Municipalities"

Matt Blackwell mblackwell at iq.harvard.edu
Mon Oct 19 19:24:09 EDT 2009

Hello all,

Please join us this Wednesday October 21st when we will have a change
in the schedule. We are happy to have Andy Eggers (Department of
Government) presenting a talk titled "Electoral Rules, Opposition
Scrutiny, and Policy Moderation in French Municipalities: An
Application of the Regression Discontinuity Design." Andy has provided
the following abstract for his talk:

Regression discontinuity design (RDD) is a powerful and increasingly
popular approach to causal inference that can be applied when
treatment is assigned deterministically based on a continuous
covariate. In this talk, I will present an application of RDD from
French municipalities, where the system of electing the municipal
council depends on whether the city's population is above or below
3500. First I show that cities above the population cutoff have fewer
uncontested elections and more opposition representation on municipal
councils, consistent with expectations. I then trace the effect of
these political changes -- which amount to a heightening of the
scrutiny imposed on the mayor -- on policy outcomes, providing
evidence that more opposition scrutiny leads to more moderate policy.

The workshop will start, as usual, at noon with a light lunch and wrap
up by about 1:30. The workshop will convene in room K354 of CGIS (1737
Cambridge St). We hope you can make it.


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