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Simultaneity, asymmetric devolution and economic incentives in Spanish regional elections

Costa-i-Font, Joan ORCID: 0000-0001-7174-7919 (2009) Simultaneity, asymmetric devolution and economic incentives in Spanish regional elections. Regional and Federal Studies, 19 (1). pp. 165-184. ISSN 1359-7566

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Identification Number: 10.1080/13597560802692736


This paper addresses two hypotheses. The first is that holding two or more elections at the same time is an institutional device to legitimize newly created regional governments by ensuring an acceptable electoral turnout at their formation. The second is that regional elections provide a participation incentive in relatively poor regions. The study draws upon evidence from the first round of Spanish regional elections (1980–99) when Spanish devolution was still asymmetrical. It empirically examines whether calling simultaneous elections for the European, national, regional and local parliaments and councils increased the aggregate voter turnout. Secondly, it tests whether regional income, inflation and unemployment rates influenced voter turnout. Its findings indicate that calling simultaneous elections can boost electoral turnout for newly created governments. Less affluent autonomous regions exhibited higher turnout—arguably due to a heavier reliance on regional government activity.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2009 Routledge
Divisions: European Institute
Social Policy
LSE Health
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DP Spain
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
J Political Science > JS Local government Municipal government
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2009 22:09
Last Modified: 20 May 2021 01:51

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