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The causal effect of radical right success on mainstream parties’ policy positions: a regression discontinuity approach


Abou-Chadi, Tarik; Krause, Werner (2020). The causal effect of radical right success on mainstream parties’ policy positions: a regression discontinuity approach. British Journal of Political Science, 50(3):829-847.

Abstract

This article investigates how the success of radical right parties affects the policy positions of mainstream parties. We do this using a regression discontinuity approach that allows us to causally attribute mainstream parties’ positional changes to radical right strength independent of public opinion as a potential confounder. Making use of exogenous variation created through differences in electoral thresholds, we empirically demonstrate that radical right success, indeed, causally affects mainstream parties’ positions. This is true for mainstream left as well as mainstream right parties. These findings make an important contribution to the broader literature on party competition as they indicate that other parties’ behavior and not only public opinion plays a crucial role in explaining parties’ policy shift.

Abstract

This article investigates how the success of radical right parties affects the policy positions of mainstream parties. We do this using a regression discontinuity approach that allows us to causally attribute mainstream parties’ positional changes to radical right strength independent of public opinion as a potential confounder. Making use of exogenous variation created through differences in electoral thresholds, we empirically demonstrate that radical right success, indeed, causally affects mainstream parties’ positions. This is true for mainstream left as well as mainstream right parties. These findings make an important contribution to the broader literature on party competition as they indicate that other parties’ behavior and not only public opinion plays a crucial role in explaining parties’ policy shift.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Political Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:320 Political science
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Sociology and Political Science
Uncontrolled Keywords:Sociology and Political Science radical right, party competition, immigration
Language:English
Date:July 2020
Deposited On:30 Jun 2020 13:20
Last Modified:29 Jul 2020 15:21
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
ISSN:0007-1234
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1017/s0007123418000029

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