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  • 1.
    Chakraborty, Liton
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economics.
    Electoral Success in Swedish Municipal Councils: The Role of Occupation and Politicians’ Characteristics2012Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    This paper examines to what extent political candidates’ characteristics listed on the ballot affect election outcomes in municipal councils in Sweden. We exploit data on candidates’ name, age, sex, occupation, party affiliation, and candidates’ position listed on the ballots for 3757 elected candidates of 59 municipalities. The data on 19 September 2010 elections to municipal councils in Sweden has been considered in this paper. A probit regression approach has been employed for identifying occupational effects whereas the main outcome variable is binary, namely whether a candidate is elected by preference votes threshold or not. Candidates with occupations such as mayor, political official, parliament member, farmer, head, entrepreneur and teacher are found to have electoral advantage. In contrast, salesman, retired, student, pensioner, and assistant are found less likely to be person selected. The results remain robust in case of occupations related to political incumbency such as political officials, mayor and parliament member even if demographic effects (gender and age), ballot position effects, party effects and municipality effects are added into regression analysis. The same results also hold regarding the alternative outcome variable, personal vote share. Male candidates are found to have electoral advantage over female candidates. The findings also suggest that there are higher chances to be person selected if a candidate’s name is listed within top three ballot positions. Finally, statistically significant and negative effects are found for the left-wing candidates with occupations such as retired, student, ombudsman, graduate, and businessman. On the other hand, candidates with occupations such as salesman, engineer, graduate, administrator, manager, driver, economist, consultant, self-employed, and lawyer have electoral disadvantage being placed on right-wing party list. However, mayor and political officials from both groups of parties always have electoral advantage. To sum up, our findings support the hypothesis that occupations play a significant role in the elections to municipal councils in Sweden. The findings of the study have implications for our understanding of voting behavior in low-information elections in Sweden.

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