NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Old and Young Politicians

Alberto F. Alesina, Ugo Troiano, Traviss Cassidy

NBER Working Paper No. 20977
Issued in February 2015
NBER Program(s):   PE   POL

We evaluate the effect of a politician’s age on political governance, reelection rates,and policies using data on Italian local governments. Our results suggest that younger politicians are more likely to behave strategically in response to election incentives: they increase spending and obtain more transfers from higher levels of government in preelection years. We argue that is a sign of stronger career concerns incentives. The results are robust to adopting three different identification strategies: fixed-effects regression, standard regression discontinuity design, and an augmented regression discontinuity design that controls for residual heterogeneity.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w20977

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