Waylaid Dialectic

August 21, 2012

Inclusion and Public Policy – if you vote you matter

Filed under: Random Musings — terence @ 8:03 am

Not development related but an interesting looking Pol Sci article in the new AJPS. The really short summary: states (or at least the Swedish state) tend to take better care of people who get to have a say in how they are run.

The largest disenfranchised group in modern democracies is international migrants who lack citizenship of their country of residence. Despite that noncitizen suffrage has been introduced in some countries and has been the subject of vigorous public debate in many others, there have been no systematic attempts to investigate its policy consequences. Drawing on standard models of political competition, I argue that there will be a selection bias inherent in estimating the impact of noncitizen suffrage on public policy and analyze data that are uniquely suitable to deal with this methodological problem, namely data on exogenous changes in the composition of the electorates of Swedish municipalities generated by the introduction of noncitizen suffrage. According to the results, the effect of enfranchising noncitizens on public policy was large, causing spending on education and social and family services to increase substantially in municipalities where noncitizens made up a nonnegligible share of the electorate.

What looks to be an ungated version of the paper is here [PDF].


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