We rely on a periodic public opinion poll indicator of the performance of mayors collected for 103 large cities in Italy and in three waves (2015, 2017, and 2020) to examine whether and to what extent the exogenous shift in policy-making decisions induced by the COVID-19 pandemic has affected citizens' perceptions regarding attributions of responsibility. We leverage the variation in political alignment between central and local governments and implement a difference-in-differences research design, finding that when decisions are fully centralised (during the lockdown), voter approval for the mayor of an aligned city decreases by around 7%. Further analyses suggest that our results are more marked (i) during pre-electoral years and (ii) in cities with a lower level of social capital. Lastly, we document that the decrease in the approval ratings of aligned mayors is entirely guided by cities not severely hit by the pandemic, thereby reflecting a sense of ‘discontent’ in these areas for the policy decisions adopted by the central government to tackle the pandemic.

Ferraresi, M., Gucciardi, G. (2022). Political alignment, centralisation, and the sense of government unpreparedness during the COVID-19 pandemic. EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF POLITICAL ECONOMY, 73(June 2022), 1-14 [10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2021.102144].

Political alignment, centralisation, and the sense of government unpreparedness during the COVID-19 pandemic

Gucciardi G
2022

Abstract

We rely on a periodic public opinion poll indicator of the performance of mayors collected for 103 large cities in Italy and in three waves (2015, 2017, and 2020) to examine whether and to what extent the exogenous shift in policy-making decisions induced by the COVID-19 pandemic has affected citizens' perceptions regarding attributions of responsibility. We leverage the variation in political alignment between central and local governments and implement a difference-in-differences research design, finding that when decisions are fully centralised (during the lockdown), voter approval for the mayor of an aligned city decreases by around 7%. Further analyses suggest that our results are more marked (i) during pre-electoral years and (ii) in cities with a lower level of social capital. Lastly, we document that the decrease in the approval ratings of aligned mayors is entirely guided by cities not severely hit by the pandemic, thereby reflecting a sense of ‘discontent’ in these areas for the policy decisions adopted by the central government to tackle the pandemic.
Articolo in rivista - Articolo scientifico
Centralisation; COVID-19; Policy outcomes; Policy-making process; Voter perception;
English
11-nov-2021
2022
73
June 2022
1
14
102144
open
Ferraresi, M., Gucciardi, G. (2022). Political alignment, centralisation, and the sense of government unpreparedness during the COVID-19 pandemic. EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF POLITICAL ECONOMY, 73(June 2022), 1-14 [10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2021.102144].
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10281/415819
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