62 Ergebnisse, ab 21
Diskussionspapiere 1435 / 2014

Voting for Direct Democracy: Evidence from a Unique Popular Initiative in Bavaria

We analyze a constitutional change in the German State of Bavaria where citizens, not politicians, granted themselves more say in politics at the local level through a constitutional initiative at the state level. This institutional setting allows us to focus on revealed preferences for direct democracy and to identify factors which explain this preference. Empirical results suggests support for direct ...

2014| Felix Arnold, Ronny Freier, Magdalena Pallauf, David Stadelmann
Diskussionspapiere 1431 / 2014

The Earnings Returns to Graduating with Honors: Evidence from Law Graduates

This paper studies the causal effects of graduating from university with an honors degree on subsequent earnings. While a rich body of literature has focused on estimating returns to human capital, few studies have analyzed returns at the very top of the education distribution. We highlight the importance of honors degrees for future labor market success in the context of German law graduates. Using ...

2014| Ronny Freier, Mathias Schumann, Thomas Siedler
Diskussionspapiere 1429 / 2014

Overlapping Political Budget Cycles in the Legislative and the Executive

We advance the literature on political budget cycles by testing separately for cycles in expenditures for elections in the legislative and the executive. Using municipal data, we can separately identify these cycles and account for general year effects. For the executive branch, we show that it is important whether the incumbent re-runs. To account for the potential endogeneity associated with this ...

2014| Dirk Foremny, Ronny Freier, Marc-Daniel Moessinger, Mustafa Yeter
Diskussionspapiere 1358 / 2014

Race to the Debt Trap? Spatial Econometric Evidence on Debt in German Municipalities

Through an intertemporal budget constraint, jurisdictions may gain advantages in tax and spending competition by 'competing' on debt. While the existing spatial econometric literature focuses on tax and spending competition, very little is known about spatial interaction via public debt. This paper estimates the spatial interdependence of public debt among German municipalities using a panel on municipalities ...

2014| Frank M. Fossen, Ronny Freier, Thorsten Martin
Diskussionspapiere 1311 / 2013

Signature Requirements and Citizen Initiatives: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from Germany

Signature requirements are often used as hurdles to prevent overuse of public referenda. We evaluate the causal effect of lowering signature requirements on the number of observed citizen initiatives. Based on municipality-level data for Germany, we make use of legislative changes at specific population thresholds to build an identification strategy using a regression discontinuity design. We find ...

2013| Felix Arnold, Ronny Freier
Diskussionspapiere 1266 / 2013

Religious Heterogeneity and Fiscal Policy: Evidence from German Reunification

Theoretical work based on social identity theory and in-group favoritism predicts that increased population diversity (e.g., due to immigration) reduces support for redistributive public policies. In this article, we add to the empirical literature testing this prediction in three ways. First, rather than ethno-linguistic or racial heterogeneity, we analyze religious diversity, which in many countries ...

2013| Ronny Freier, Benny Geys, Joshua Holm
Diskussionspapiere 1262 / 2012

Voters Prefer More Qualified Mayors, but Does It Matter for Public Finances? Evidence for Germany

This paper studies the importance of politician's qualification, in terms of education and experience, for fiscal outcomes. The analysis is based on a large panel for 2,031 German municipalities for which we have collected information on municipal budgets as well as the election results and qualification levels of mayoral candidates. We principally use a Regression Discontinuity Design focusing on ...

2012| Ronny Freier, Sebastian Thomasius
Diskussionspapiere 1256 / 2012

The Treatment Effect of Attending a High-Quality School and the Influence of Unobservables

This paper studies the effect of attending a high-quality secondary school on subsequent educational outcomes. The analysis is based on data from the German Socio-Economic Panel Study in which we observe children when they make their secondary school choice (between ages 10-12) and later when they self-report on their intentions with regard to their further educational path (between ages 16-17). To ...

2012| Ronny Freier, Johanna Storck
Diskussionspapiere 1239 / 2012

Do Absolute Majorities Spend Less? Evidence from Germany

The number of parties in government is usually considered to increase spending. We show that this is not necessarily the case. Using a new method to detect close election outcomes in multi-party systems, we isolate truly exogenous variation in the type of government. With data from municipalities in the German state of Bavaria, we show in regression discontinuity-type estimations that absolute majorities ...

2012| Ronny Freier, Christian Odendahl
Diskussionspapiere 1205 / 2012

Do Parties Matter? Estimating the Effect of Political Power in Multi-party Systems

This paper estimates the effect of political power on tax policies in municipal councils under a proportional election system. The main challenge in estimating the causal effect of parties on policy is to isolate the effect of power from underlying voter preferences and the selection effect of parties. We use an instrumental variable approach where close elections provide the exogenous variation in ...

2012| Ronny Freier, Christian Odendahl
62 Ergebnisse, ab 21