Macro Lunch Andreu Arenas

February 28, 2017

12:45 - 2:00pm


D 350

Andreu Arenas

(UCLouvain, CORE)

will give a presentation on

Party bans, deterrence or backlash? Evidence from the Basque country

Abstract: This paper examines how counter-terrorist political repression influences the political preferences of the aggrieved constituency. Exploiting the finite and heterogeneous length of the ban of Batasuna -the political wing of ETA-  across municipalities, and using panel data on electoral outcomes and street terrorism episodes in the Basque Country, I find that a longer ban leads to large and persistent losses in electoral support for Batasuna in local elections, with spillover effects on support in regional elections. These effects are explained by differences in voting behavior across treated and control municipalities in the election when the ban was heterogeneously enforced -when Batasuna called for a null vote wherever it was banned, but still lost some support in those municipalities-, suggesting that habit formation in voting is the main channel. Extending the ban leads to a short-run spike in street violence by Batasuna's supporters in the treated municipalities, but it has no effects afterwards. Instrumental Variables estimates based on the rule used by the public prosecutor to denounce local candidatures support the results.

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