Public Choice

, Volume 168, Issue 3–4, pp 177–216 | Cite as

Opportunistic politicians and fiscal outcomes: the curious case of Vorarlberg

  • Monika Köppl-TurynaEmail author


Using a unique set of electoral rules present in the Austrian state of Vorarlberg, we explore the question ofwhether direct election of the mayor affects the size of local governments. Using difference-in-differences estimation and propensity score matching, we find evidence that direct elections of the mayor are associated with less expenditure on public administration and public personnel and higher expenditure in the visible categories of spending, i.e., transportation infrastructure and economic subsidies to firms and individuals.


Local expenditure Opportunistic politicians Electoral rules Political patronage 

JEL Classification

H72 H75 H77 D72 



I thank the Editor and two anonymous referees for their helpful guidance. I also thank Michael Klien, Hans Pitlik, Niklas Potrafke, Gerhard Reitschuler, Martin Rode, Friedrich Schneider as well as the participants of the 32nd EALE Annual Conference in Vienna for their helpful comments on the previous versions of this paper. All remaining errors are mine.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Agenda AustriaViennaAustria

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