The political determinants of liberalization: do ideological cleavages still matter?



We investigate the political determinants of liberalization in OECD network industries, performing a panel estimation over 30 years, through the largest and most updated sample available. Our results contrast with the traditional wisdom according to which right-wing governments do promote market-oriented policies more intensively than left-wing ones. Our findings reveal a neglected role of the so-called neoliberalism in promoting left-wing market-oriented policy. As a result, we claim that ideological cleavages ceased to act as determinants of the liberalization wave observed in network industries. This result is confirmed when controlling for the existing regulatory conditions that executives find when elected. Furthermore, we find that the country’s exposure to other countries’ policy initiatives acts as a positive stimulus for liberalization policies.


Liberalization Network industries Partisanship 

JEL Classification

D72 L50 P16 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsUniversity of SienaSienaItaly
  2. 2.European University Institute, RSCAS-FSRFlorenceItaly

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