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Below results based on the criteria 'Europe'
Total number of records returned: 3
Multiparty Government, Fiscal Institutions, and Public Spending
In the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis, the size of the public sector has been a central, and often controversial, item on the political agenda, as governments from Europe to the United States have embarked on new campaigns to reduce public spending. Previous research on the political factors underlying public spending has naturally focused on the characteristics of the governments that make budgetary decisions. Most recently, scholars have argued, and shown empirically, that spending tends to be larger when cabinets are composed of multiple political parties, and larger still when those coalitions include more members. The key theoretical insight is that spending constitutes a ``common pool resource" problem, which is more difficult to solve for multiparty governments than for single-party administrations because doing so requires the cooperation of actors who are electorally accountable to separate constituencies. In this study, drawing on recent research on the impact of institutions on coalition policymaking, we challenge the prevailing wisdom in this area. Specifically, we argue that rules that reduce the influence of individual government parties in budget formulation, and increase their incentives to oppose the spending demands of their partners, significantly mitigate the common pool resource problem and thus reduce the expansionary effect of coalition governance on spending. Our empirical analysis of public spending in fifteen European democracies over a thirty-five year period supports our argument. Our findings demonstrate that in certain institutional environments, multiparty governments will spend no more than their single-party counterparts. Our conclusions also offer hope that appropriate institutional reforms may be part of a political solution to the financial woes currently confronting multiparty governments across Europe.
A Split Population Model for Middle-Category Inflation in Ordered Survey Responses
ordered dependent Variables
Recent research find that, for social desirability reasons, uninformed individuals disproportionately give ``neither agree nor disagree'' type responses to survey attitude questions, even when a ``don't know'' option is available (Sturgis et al. 2010). Such ``face-saving don't knows'' inflate the indifference (i.e. middle) categories of ordered attitude variables with non-ordered responses. When this inflation occurs within one's dependent variable, estimates from ordered probit/logit models are biased and inefficient. This poster develops a set of mixture models (the middle-inflated ordered probit with and without correlated errors) that estimate and account for the presence of ``face-saving'' responses in middle-categories of ordered survey response variables, and applies these models to (1) simulated data and (2) a commonly studied survey question measuring support for EU-membership among EU-candidate countries. Findings suggest that, when middle-category inflation is present in one's ordered dependent variable, the estimates obtained from middle-category mixture models are less biased than---and in some cases substantively distinct from---the estimates obtained from ``naive'' ordered probit models.
Moments in Time: Studying European Conflict using a Change-Point Model
Constructivist theories provide insights into understanding systemic violence in Europe by accounting for preference formation in multiple time periods. Thus, constructivism explains how the influence of a set of independent variables on a dependent variable can change over time. By allowing preferences to change, constructivist theories accounts for changes in the direction and statistical significance of weakly exogenous explanatory variables over multiple time periods. Owing to this, different rationalist theories may be appropriate to explain different time periods. To test this, counts of militarized interstate dispute involving European states from 1870 to 2001 are analyzed. Bayesian MCMC change-point models provide an effective tool for identifying multiple time periods and generating unbiased and efficient estimates of explanatory variables. Because change-points are calculated probabilistically, the determinates of structural breaks are also examined by testing for Granger causality. Results generate support for constructivist theories because the influence of variables and statistical significance change depending on the time period. These results differ from tradition models which ignore structural breaks in the dependent variable. Lastly, Granger causality tests indicate that changes in systemic power and democratization are determinates of these structural breaks.