2,609 research outputs found

    Persistence of Politicians and Firms'Innovation

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    We empirically investigate whether the persistence of politicians in political institutions affects the innovation activity of firms. We use 12,000 firm-level observations from three waves of the Italian Observatory over Small and Medium Enterprises, and introduce a measure of political persistence defined as the average length of individual political careers in political institutions of Italian municipalities. Standard OLS shows no raw correlation between political persistence and firms' innovation activity. However, once the causal effect is isolated by means of instrumental variables, using death of politicians as an exogenous source of variation of political persistence, we find a robust negative relation between political persistence and the probability of process innovation. This finding is consistent with the view that political stability may hinder firms' incentive to innovate to maintain their competitiveness, as long as they can extract rents from long-term connections with politicians.

    Politicians’ coherence and government debt

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    We model a society that values coherence between the long-term commitment of politicians to given levels of public good provision and current policy. In that context, we suggest a novel mechanism by which issuing government debt can affect electoral results. Debt is exploited by an incumbent politician who favors a low level of public good supply, taking advantage of the cost paid by her opponent, who is committed to a higher level of supply. More public debt reduces voters’ preferred level of public good consumption and therefore are less likely to elect the opponent, given her commitment to a losing policy
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