Institut for Statskundskab

Political parties and public investments: a comparative analysis of 22 Western democracies

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskrift/Konferencebidrag i tidsskrift /Bidrag til avisTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

  • Jonas Kraft

When do political parties push for public investments in education, research, and infrastructure? Existing literature has mainly answered this question by pointing to parties’ state‒market ideology. In contrast, this article presents a novel argument highlighting the role of parties’ aspirations to office and their ambitions to maximize votes. It builds on the idea that investments not only constitute redistributive tools for politicians, but also work as public means to foster economic growth in the long run. This unique feature makes investments attractive for parties with high office and vote aspirations, because they anticipate government responsibility in the future and can use investments’ dispersed growth effects to appeal broadly to a large, heterogeneous pool of voters. Support for this claim is found through time-series cross-sectional analyses of party manifestos from 22 Western democracies between 1947 and 2013. Results also indicate that parties’ positions on the second social value dimension matter.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftWest European Politics
Vol/bind41
Nummer1
Sider (fra-til)128-146
Antal sider19
ISSN0140-2382
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 2018

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