The effects of amalgamations on voter turnout: Evidence from sub-municipal governments in Portugal

Tavares, António and Rodrigues, Miguel, (2020). The effects of amalgamations on voter turnout: Evidence from sub-municipal governments in Portugal. Cities: The International Journal of Urban Policy and Planning, 101 1757-1772

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  • Sub-type Journal article
    Author Tavares, António
    Rodrigues, Miguel
    Title The effects of amalgamations on voter turnout: Evidence from sub-municipal governments in Portugal
    Appearing in Cities: The International Journal of Urban Policy and Planning
    Volume 101
    Publication Date 2020-06
    Place of Publication Amsterdam
    Publisher Elsevier
    Start page 1757
    End page 1772
    Language eng
    Abstract The 2013 territorial reform of sub-municipal units (SMUs) of government in Portugal presents an interesting opportunity to understand the effect of amalgamations on democratic outcomes. Like other reforms of its kind, the Portuguese amalgamation reform was triggered by economic motivations, aimed at improving local services but seeking mostly to reduce the level of public expenditures. Much less relevance was given to the political impacts of territorial consolidation. The aim of this research is to assess the impacts of the Portuguese territorial reform on political participation measured as voter turnout in SMU elections. We use data from five election cycles (2001–2017) to compare turnout levels in amalgamated jurisdictions vis-à-vis the ones that did not amalgamate as a result of the process of territorial reform. The results of this quasi-experimental design indicate that turnout levels after the reform have decreased in the 2013 election and recovered in the 2017 election, but the negative effects were much more pronounced in amalgamated SMUs than in non-amalgamated SMUs.
    Keyword electoral turnout
    territorial reform
    turnout
    Copyright Holder Elsevier
    Copyright Year 2020
    Copyright type All rights reserved
    DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cities.2020.102685
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    Created: Thu, 11 Feb 2021, 03:13:43 JST by Mario Peixoto on behalf of UNU EGOV