The Effect of Party Geographic Scope on Government Outcomes: Evidence from Peruvian Municipalities
Abstract: Does the geographic scope of the ruling local party affect local government outcomes? This is an important question given that, in many developing countries, sub-national parties have emerged as dominant forces in local elections. Using a regression discontinuity design and rich data from Peruvian municipalities, we find that party geographic scope has no effect on policy outcomes, both locally and in neighboring jurisdictions. We explore several explanations for these results and show that party types differ in politician selection, but are no different in terms of accountability and face similar electoral incentives. Overall, our results challenge the view that sub-national parties are detrimental to local governance.