Research

Here you can find detailed information about what I am currently working on.

Working papers

Does New Party Entry Increase Electoral Turnout? Quasi-experimental Evidence from the 2015 Spanish Local Elections.

Read more Models of spatial voting and mobilization theory often imply that a larger number of parties should increase electoral turnout. Even though this hypothesis is well established in the political behaviour subfield, the most-up-to-date evidence arguably fails at identifying a causal effect. Employing time-series cross-sectional data, some studies show that electoral participation is higher when increasing the number of candidatures while others justify the opposite, i.e., that higher participation rates foster new party entry instead. To solve this endogeneity puzzle, I leverage a unique real-world setting that approximate the experimental ideal: the 2015 Spanish local elections. In those elections, the two newcomers Podemos and Ciudadanos run candidatures for the first time. However, they could not compete in many municipalities due to their lack of organizational roots. I, therefore, compare official participation records across these localities after matching them by a series of time-variant covariates within a difference-in-differences approach. The results provide a causal estimate of the effect of new party entry close to a 0.8% average increase on electoral turnout, robust to different specifications. This finding advises against the use of electoral participation rates as an explanatory variable in studies of new party entry, while it confirms previous findings on new party entry effects. More broadly, it contributes to the growing literature on the effects of supply-side changes on political behaviour. From a normative perspective, it also defies the conventional wisdom that increasing party system fragmentation and volatility has mostly a negative impact on indicators of democratic quality.

Draft available upon request.

Work in progress

Does Parliamentary Entry Increase Satisfaction with Democracy? Comparative Evidence from a Three-fold Study.

Read more While extensive evidence confirms that winning an election increases satisfaction with democracy (SWD), the evidence on the effect of entering parliament is scarce. This is surprising given the increasing impact of new parties in Western democracies and the relevance of parliaments in proportional systems. New parties are more likely to irrupt parliament than ever before, and their voters also display lower levels of trust in parliament and SWD. Does parliamentary entry increase SWD among new party voters? This paper provides three studies to answer this question. The first one leverages the quasi-as-random nature of seat assignment around legally fixed electoral thresholds to identify the effect of parliamentary entry on SWD. It exploits post-electoral survey data from the CSES within a regression-discontinuity approach (RDD). The second study uses pre- and post-electoral waves from six national panels in Europe to compare changes in SWD among voters of new and old parties entering parliament. While voters of non-radical new parties become more satisfied after the election, voters of new radical parties do not. An in-depth analysis of AfD voters during the 2017 German Federal election using extensive panel data (n>8000) does not provide any consistent explanation. The third study consists of a survey experiment among far-right voters after the first round of the French presidential elections of 2022 when the new radical candidate Éric Zemmour obtained sizeable support. Pre-preliminary evidence suggests that radical new party voters do not become more supportive after their party breakthrough because of the victory of the mainstream rather than their party loss. This paper contributes to the extensive literature on the winner-loser gap in SWD. It also adds to the growing literature on party entry effects. Most importantly, it provides original insights on why party-system change might not foster democratic support. A majoritarian conception of democracy among radical party voters may prevent proportional institutions from alleviating their feelings of disaffection.

The experiment of the third study is embedded in this project .

Fragmented Party Offer, Vote Choice and Satisfaction with Democracy. With Morgan Le Corre Juratic.

Read more How does new party entry affect citizens’ electoral behavior? Does this new party electoral fortune affect citizens’ democratic attitudes? This paper links both questions by analyzing the attitudinal correlates of new party voting and the effect of electoral results on democratic support when a new party irrupts the electoral scenario. Using a novel methodological approach, we leverage the unique natural setting of the 2022 French presidential election, where a new far-right challenger (the novel candidate Éric Zemmour) is likely to obtain sizeable electoral support and where three opposition parties are as likely to pass to the second round. We use the Facebook advertisement system (FAM) to recruit and survey potential far right-wing voters before and after the 1st round of the election. The contribution of the panel is two-fold. First, the pre-electoral wave aims to disentangle the correlates of turnout and new party voting when more than one viable options are available within the same ideological space. This sheds new light on the causes of new party voting by holding strategic considerations and the electoral supply constant. Second, the post-electoral wave permits to assess the effect of the first round electoral outcome on satisfaction with democracy (SWD), especially for new and old party supporters. This paper thus hopes to provide new insights on the consequences of a widespread phenomenon in current party systems, new party entry, on two key features of representative democracies.

‘Braining Hearts’ The Role of Electoral Experience on Ideological Moderation.

Read more Empirical evidence from the US and Europe confirms the conventional wisdom that people become more conservative as they grow. Surprisingly notwithstanding, the theoretical accounts for this phenomenon are far from developed. This paper provides a novel explanation and tests it. It proposes that young citizens are likely to be more radical on either side of the ideological spectrum. Instead of becoming more conservative, they moderate as they grow due to repeated experience of the democratic process. After initial exposure to their first electoral cycle as young adults, citizens learn from it and acquire more realistic expectations about the policy process. This process re-starts afterwards and repeats over the life course. Hence, the seemingly right-leaning effect of growth results from adolescents’ selection bias into left-wing positions. The paper assesses these claims in three steps. First, it uses data from the cumulative waves of the European Social Survey (ESS) to show that the number of experienced electoral cycles has a positive effect on ideological moderation after holding age, period and cohort constant. Second, it shows that this effect is larger for voters than for abstainers. The higher the level of engagement, the stronger the effect of electoral exposure on democratic learning. Finally, it exploits six national youth surveys in Europe to identify the effect of voting on ideological moderation using eligibility as an instrument. Preliminary results confirm that respondents just over the minimum legal age for voting are more moderate on average than respondents just below the threshold. The effect is substantial and robustly significant only a few months after their first national elections. Additional analyses look more in-depth into Spanish youth survey data to assess potential mechanisms, such as increased political interest and frequency of political talks. This paper contributes to the literature on political socialization, the effects of voting and political change over the life-course. It provides an original account of the role of ageing in ideological change. Normatively, it has optimistic implications in an era of growing polarization and democratic backsliding. Older voters grow more moderate and particularly those politically engaged.

Research Projects

NewRadRight – Fragmented Party Offer, Vote Choice and Attitude Change: a Study on Right-wing Voters in the 2022 French Presidential Elections.

With Morgan Le Corre Juratic.

Read more Over the last two decades, party system fragmentation has dramatically increased in Western democracies (Chiaramonte & Emanuele, 2019; Emanuele & Chiaramonte, 2018, 2019). This change has not come alone. On the contrary, polarization and dissatisfaction with the democratic process are arguably on the rise too (Boxell et al., 2020; Martini & Quaranta, 2020). This project links both phenomena by analyzing the attitudinal correlates of new party voting and the effect of electoral results on attitude change when a new party enters. To do so, it leverages the unique context of the 2022 French presidential election, where a new far-right challenger (the novel candidate Éric Zemmour) is likely to obtain sizeable electoral support.
The study consists of a two-wave panel survey distributed through Facebook targeted ads among potential right-wing voters before and after the 1st round of the election. Its goal is two-fold. First, the pre-electoral wave aims to disentangle the correlates of new party voting when more than one viable option is available within the same ideological space. Second, the post-electoral wave allows us to analyse pre-post election attitude change. An additional survey experiment assesses the effect of electoral information frames on satisfaction with democracy (SWD), political trust and efficacy among new party supporters.

The pre-analysis plan is pending moderation in EGAP. You can download the non pre-registered version here .