Do parties and voters reward parliamentary behavior? Evidence from Estonia
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While a wide range of literature has discussed how institutional incentives account for variation in parliamentary behavior of members of parliament (MPs), what is less clear is to what extent the behavioral strategies are eventually effective for goal-seeking purposes. The thesis addresses this puzzle by examining electoral consequences of parliamentary behavior of legislators. Specifically, it looks at whether the level of parliamentary activism of MPs affects their consequent performance at candidate nomination process, defined as running for the same party and as ranking on party lists, and at electoral stage, defined as personal vote and as gaining legislative seat. Statistical analysis is applied to the data from the 2015 and 2019 legislative elections and preceding parliamentary terms in the Republic of Estonia. The empirical results show that parties and voters reward more active behavior, although the extent varies across the types of parliamentary activities and the two examined elections. These signs of parties’ and voters’ retrospective evaluation of parliamentary work have implications for understanding the mechanisms of delegation and accountability in representative democracies.
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