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How is Government Stability Affected by the State of the Economy?: Payoff Structures, Government Type and Economic State
Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Statsvetenskapliga institutionen.ORCID-id: 0000-0002-6613-4242
Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Statsvetenskapliga institutionen.
2019 (Engelska)Ingår i: Government and Opposition, ISSN 0017-257X, E-ISSN 1477-7053, Vol. 54, nr 2, s. 280-308Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) Published
Abstract [en]

To what extent are incumbent governments affected by the state of the economy when it comes to premature dissolution? This article investigates this research question using a data set on parties and governments for 18 West European countries for the period 1945–2013. In addition to investigating the general effect of the state of the economy on government termination, we hypothesize that macroeconomic conditions affect cabinet termination in different ways depending on the type of government that is in power. Using Cox proportional hazards models to estimate how different government types are impacted by the same changes in the economy, our results indicate that economic changes do matter, but that they mainly affect coalition governments. Our results also indicate that there is a difference between minority and majority governments when it comes to the type of termination. Minority coalition governments resolve to early elections, not replacements, presumably because a minority government does not survive defection. Majority coalition governments, in contrast, show sensitivity towards both types of terminations.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Cambridge University Press, 2019. Vol. 54, nr 2, s. 280-308
Nyckelord [en]
government dissolution, coalitions, economy, cabinet duration, Western Europe
Nationell ämneskategori
Statsvetenskap
Forskningsämne
statskunskap
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-133427DOI: 10.1017/gov.2017.21ISI: 000459785600004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-133427DiVA, id: diva2:1087847
Projekt
Representative Democracy in Europe
Forskningsfinansiär
Marianne och Marcus Wallenbergs Stiftelse, MMW 2011.0030
Anmärkning

Originally included in thesis in accepted form with title: How is government termination affected by the state of economy? Payoff structures, type of government and economic changes

Tillgänglig från: 2017-04-10 Skapad: 2017-04-10 Senast uppdaterad: 2019-03-27Bibliografiskt granskad
Ingår i avhandling
1. Till death do us part: a comparative study of government instability in 28 European democracies
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Till death do us part: a comparative study of government instability in 28 European democracies
2017 (Engelska)Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
Abstract [en]

This thesis is rooted in the research tradition known as coalition politics, where governments, political parties and political institutions are the central focus. The main emphasis here is on government instability and the question of why governments in modern parliamentary democracies often come to an end before the next regular election. In five distinct but interrelated papers, the thesis explores the issue of early government termination and how it is affected by public support, economic developments and the functioning of the state apparatus. The studies included in this thesis generally take a quantitative approach and make use of a dataset that contains 640 governments in 29 European democracies. Their joint goal is to improve our understanding of when early termination happens by introducing and testing new explanatory factors as well as by improving how previously identified factors are modelled.

The first paper focuses on Central and Eastern Europe. It shows that the stability of governments in that region is affected by slightly different factors than those that impact on governments in Western Europe. In particular, ideological factors and political institutions are found to be less important in Central and Eastern Europe while the formal power basis of the government and the country’s economic performance matter more. In the second paper, co-authored with Professor Torbjörn Bergman, the state is brought into government stability research. The paper shows that countries with a lower quality of governance and a less efficient public sector have less stable governments. This is mainly because government parties struggle to achieve their policy goals when the state apparatus is inefficient and corrupt.

Paper 3, co-written with Associate Professor Johan Hellström, looks at how different types of governments respond to economic challenges. In particular, this paper demonstrates that the same changes in economic circumstances (e.g. increases in unemployment or inflation) have different effects on cabinet stability depending on which type of government is in charge. Single party governments are better equipped to deal with economic changes, because they are better positioned to devise new policy responses without having to compromise with other parties. Coalition governments, in contrast, become significantly more likely to terminate early when the economy takes a turn for the worse.

Finally, over the course of two papers I first explore new techniques for analysing polling data and then use them to empirically test whether governments sometimes choose termination as a way to cope with bad poll numbers. Most of the existing techniques for pooling polls and forecasting elections were explicitly designed with two party systems in mind. In Paper 4, I test some of these techniques to determine their usefulness in complex, multiparty systems, and I develop some improvements that enable us to take advantage of more of the information in the data. In the final paper, I combine the two themes of polling and government stability by looking at how changes in government popularity affect the likelihood of premature dissolution. I find that governments, particularly single party governments, do, in fact, use terminations as a strategic response to changes in their popularity among the public. When support is high, governments tend to opportunistically call an early election, whereas they tend to abandon or reshuffle the government when support is low.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Umeå: Umeå universitet, 2017. s. 71
Serie
Statsvetenskapliga institutionens skriftserie, ISSN 0349-0831 ; 2017:2
Nyckelord
Government instability, early termination, polling, coalition studies, comparative politics, duration modelling, Europe, cabinet turnover, cabinet dissolution, parliamentary democracies
Nationell ämneskategori
Statsvetenskap (exklusive studier av offentlig förvaltning och globaliseringsstudier)
Forskningsämne
statskunskap
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-133482 (URN)978-91-7601-699-2 (ISBN)
Disputation
2017-05-12, Hörsal C, Lindellhallen, Samhällsvetarhuset, Umeå, 13:15 (Engelska)
Opponent
Handledare
Tillgänglig från: 2017-04-21 Skapad: 2017-04-12 Senast uppdaterad: 2018-06-09Bibliografiskt granskad

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Hellström, JohanWalther, Daniel

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