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Most political systems consist of multiple layers. While this fact is widely acknowledged, we know surprisingly little about its implications for policy-making. Most comparative studies still focus exclusively on the national level. We posit that both 'methodological nationalism' and 'methodological subnationalism' should be avoided. We argue instead that in multilevel systems national and subnational governments jointly affect policy-making. Their respective influence is, however, conditional on the distribution of policy authority. Moreover, we identify power asymmetries, as subnational governments hardly affect policy-making in centralized systems whereas national governments shape subnational policy-making even in decentralized polities. Empirically, we study the case of education policy. Novel data on regional education spending, regional and national governments' ideology, and regional authority over education in 282 regions in 15 countries over 21 years reveals strong support for the interplay between ideology and the distribution of authority across levels. We conclude by sketching a resulting research agenda.
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... In this article, we aim to uncover the factors that determine the observed divergence in local governments' investment policy in Germany and investigate whether partisanship contributes to these differences. Our theoretical framework draws on insights from state-centred political economy and fiscal federalism (Katzenstein, 1987;Scharpf, 1988;Di Carlo, 2019), economic geography and regional economics (Dauth et al., 2018) as well as recent literature on national and subnational partisan politics (Beramendi et al., 2015;Garritzmann et al., 2021). ...
... Echoing recent scholarship on the impact of partisanship on subnational policymaking (e.g. Adolph et al., 2020;Jacques, 2020b;Toubeau and Vampa, 2021;Garritzmann et al., 2021), we argue that these choices are likely to reflect allegiances with different local constituencies (Beramendi et al., 8 The case of Cologne illustrates this point. Based on the city's financial reports, the local government earmarked more than e1.5bn for investment spending over the years 2016-2018 but only managed to execute investments for around e660 million due to a lack of administrative capacity. ...
... Second, the article provides new evidence that partisanship matters in fiscal policymaking, even at the subnational level (e.g. Beramendi et al., 2015;Adolph et al., 2020;Garritzmann et al., 2021). According to our analysis, this is because different local decision makers deal with constraints differently, especially in making choices over voluntary expenditures that matter to their constituencies. ...
Article
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Public investment spending declined steadily in advanced economies during the last three decades. Germany is a case in point where the aggregate decline coincided with growing inequality in investments across districts. What explains the variation in local investment spending? We assembled a novel data set to investigate the effects of structural constraints and partisanship on German districts’ investment spending from 1995 to 2018. We find that the lack of fiscal and administrative capacity significantly influences local investment patterns. Yet, within these constraints, partisanship matters. Conservative politicians tend to prioritize public investment more than the left. This is especially the case when revenues from local taxes are low. As the fiscal conditions improve, left-wing politicians increase investment more strongly and hence the difference between the left and the right disappears. Our findings are indicative of how regional economic divergence can emerge even within cooperative federal systems and show that, even when decision-makers operate under various institutional and structural constraints, partisanship matters for how these actors allocate discretionary spending.
... Auch im internationalen Vergleich sind die deutschen Bundesländer unter den stärksten regionalen Akteuren in der Bildungspolitik (J. Garritzmann et al. 2021). Diese Kompetenzen sind durch das Grundgesetz verfassungsmäßig geschützt. ...
Chapter
Bildung ist laut Grundgesetz Ländersache – in kaum einem anderen Politikfeld können die Länder ähnlich viel gestalten. Bildungspolitik ist damit ein zentrales – wenn nicht das zentralste – Thema von Landespolitik. Dieses Kapitel analysiert die Bildungspolitik der grün-schwarzen Regierung in Baden-Württemberg (2016–2021). Im ersten Teil vergleichen wir die Wahlkampfversprechen von Grünen, CDU und SPD und analysieren, welche Partei sich im Koalitionsvertrag durchgesetzt hat. Im zweiten Teil untersuchen wir, welche Reformvorhaben die Regierung umsetzen konnte und wie sich die politischen Prozesse gestalteten. Im letzten Teil diskutieren wir diese Ergebnisse. Aus politikwissenschaftlicher Perspektive interessiert uns vor allem, ob die Bildungspolitik der grün-schwarzen Regierung eher von Kontinuität zu ihren Vorgängerregierungen geprägt ist oder ob sie neue Akzente setzen wollte und konnte.
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Book
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Public investment spending declined steadily in advanced economies during the last three decades. Germany is a case in point where the aggregate decline coincided with growing inequality in investments across districts. What explains variation in local investment spending? We assembled a novel dataset to investigate the effects of structural constraints and partisanship on German districts' investment spending from 1995 to 2018. We find that the lack of fiscal and administrative capacity significantly influences local investment patterns. Yet, within these constraints, partisanship matters. Conservative politicians tend to prioritize public investment more than the left. This is especially the case when revenues from local taxes are low. As the fiscal conditions improve, left-wing politicians increase investment more strongly and hence the difference between the left and the right disappears. Our findings are indicative of how regional economic divergence can emerge even within cooperative federalist systems and show that, despite rigid fiscal rules, partisanship matters when parties face trade-offs over discretionary spending.
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The proliferation of measurement approaches for party positions has left users with a mixed blessing of choice. All of the existing approaches adhere to a multitude of assumptions and measurement decisions. Many of these decisions have far-reaching consequences for the validity of the positions and affect substantive inferences based on them. This article provides a systematic assessment of different existing measurement procedures in order to provide users with valid and comparable party positions. Borrowing the concept of market liberalism, the article outlines a theoretically guided "ideal approach", depicts the measurement choices available and provides deductive reasoning on indicator transformation and measurement decisions. The results of counterfactual simulations confirm a surprisingly clear hierarchy of measurement decisions. The resulting party positions following this hierarchy of choices outperform other alternative measurement strategies (for example Franzmann & Kaiser 2006; Lowe et al. 2011; Elff 2013; König et al. 2013) and point to potential improvements of these approaches. The most revealing finding is, however, that indicator selection and transformation proves to be far more consequential than sophisticated estimation procedures. Finally, substantial implications of measurement choices are demonstrated by the replication of a study on government accountability (Hellwig 2012). This replication shows, that many inferences based on existing positional measurements stand on shaky ground. To complete, I suggest potential improvements for the development of expert-survey items and the coding of manifestos and provide a data-set with party and government positions on a state-market dimension from 1945-2015.
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Social investment has recently received much attention among policy-makers and welfare state scholars, but the existing literature remains focused on policy-making on the macro level. We expand this perspective by studying public opinion towards social investment compared to other welfare policies, exploiting new public opinion data from eight European countries. We identify three latent dimensions of welfare state preferences: ‘social investment’; ‘passive transfers’; and ‘workfare’ policies. We find that social investment is far more popular compared to the other two. Furthermore, we identify distinct supporting groups: passive transfer policies are most supported by low-income, low-educated people, by individuals leaning towards traditional social values and by those subscribing to left-wing economic attitudes. Social investment policies are supported by a broad coalition of individuals with higher educational backgrounds and left-libertarian views from all economic strata. Workfare policies are most popular with high-income individuals and those subscribing to economically conservative and traditional authoritarian values.
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Recent elections have revived the debate about the decline of social democracy, often attributed to the numerical decline in the working class and its alienation due to the mainstream left’s economically centrist and socially liberal policy stances. To explain changes in these parties’ fortunes, we instead argue that researchers need to analyze the preferences of key electoral groups on the main axes of political competition and the role of information-transmitting intermediaries in shaping these preferences. Specifically, we suggest that (1) mainstream left parties can win votes by taking up more investment-oriented positions if they (2) also take up liberal sociocultural positions and (3) do not face opposition from influential unions. We find support for these expectations using aggregate-level election results and individual-level survey responses. Our findings have important implications for our understanding of party success in advanced democracies and for empirical models of party competition more generally.
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Abstract: The book verifies an old and often repeated pledge of Adam Smith that market liberalism increases the wealth of its citizens in the long-run and contrast it with the most salient counterclaim that citizens pay for wealth with inequality. Starting with a conceptual discussion of what market liberalism is, the book guides through its measurement and discusses issues of comparability. Subsequently, the degree of market liberalism of governments within democracies are related to most-likely policies such as deregulation and less redistribution via decreased taxes and lower welfare spending. Finally, policies are linked to performance using structural equations and long-time frames. It turns out that market liberal governments have a negative short-term effect on wealth and a positive long-term effect in comparison to more moderate governments. However, the effect on wealth is very marginal whereas inequality is substantially increased in the short- as well as in the long-run. The overall findings lend tentative evidence to the inference, that more market liberal policies do not increase efficiency but simply increase economic activity leading to higher marginal growth in the long run and a substantial increase in inequality.
Book
This book serves as a sequel to two distinguished volumes on capitalism: Continuity and Change in Contemporary Capitalism (Cambridge University Press, 1999) and Order and Conflict in Contemporary Capitalism (1985). Both volumes took stock of major economic challenges advanced industrial democracies faced, as well as the ways political and economic elites dealt with them. However, during the last decades, the structural environment of advanced capitalist democracies has undergone profound changes: sweeping deindustrialization, tertiarization of the employment structure, and demographic developments. This book provides a synthetic view, allowing the reader to grasp the nature of these structural transformations and their consequences in terms of the politics of change, policy outputs, and outcomes. In contrast to functionalist and structuralist approaches, the book advocates and contributes to a ‘return of electoral and coalitional politics’ to political economy research.
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The article investigates how parties compete over the welfare state by emphasising specific welfare state issues. The core argument is that two issue-specific factors determine how much parties emphasise individual welfare state issues: the character of policy problems related to the policy issues and the type of social risks involved. To test the argument, a new large-N dataset is employed, with election manifestos from Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. The dataset contains information on how much parties have talked about health care, education, and labour market protection in national elections since 1980. With the data at hand, it is possible to provide the first systematic investigation of how parties compete for votes over the welfare state. The approach here is able to explain the empirical fact that health care is consistently receiving increased attention everywhere, while particularly labour market protection has witnessed a decline in attention. © 2019