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Rank effects in political promotions

Meriläinen, Jaakko and Tukiainen, Janne (2018) Rank effects in political promotions. Public Choice. ISSN 0048-5829

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Identification Number: 10.1007/s11127-018-0591-8


This paper studies the effect of candidates’ personal vote ranks on promotions to political power in an open list proportional representation system. Using a regression discontinuity design and data from Finnish local elections, we find that ranking first within a party enhances a politician’s chances of getting promoted to the position of a municipal board chair, the most important task in Finnish local politics. Other ranks matter less. We document that the effect of ranking first is larger when there is less within-party competition, but the role of external competition is ambiguous. Our evidence suggests that the mechanism behind the rank effects is primarily unrelated to electoral incentives but rather to party-specific norms or political culture. Ranks seem to be, however, only a complement to other promotion criteria such as politicians’ previous political experience or how close to the party lines their policy positions stand.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © The Author(s) 2018
Divisions: Government
Subjects: J Political Science > JC Political theory
Date Deposited: 16 Aug 2018 12:03
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 01:28

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