New working paper: Ideology and Public Policies : A Quasi-Experimental Test of the Hypothesis that Left-Wing Governments Spend More

A new working paper of the Condorcet Center is avalaible HERE. Authors:

  • Benoît LE MAUX – CREM-CNRS, Condorcet Center for Political Economy, France
  • Kristýna DOSTÁLOVÁ – University of Rennes 1, CREM-CNRS, France
  • Fabio PADOVANO – CREM-CNRS, Condorcet Center for Political Economy, France

ABSTRACT: In the literature it is often argued that governments on the left tend to raise tax rates and public spending more than their right-wing counterparts. We demonstrate that this result must be interpreted with caution. Not only it may reveal partisan effects, due to the direct impact of parties’ ideology on public spending, but also a selection bias, since the distribution of voters’ preferences determines the ideology of the government in office. The present research overcomes this problem of observational equivalence by applying two identification strategies, namely re-gression discontinuity design and propensity score matching. Using data from the French local public sector, we show that governments facing the same economic situation do not spend more when they are left-wing, particularly in the case of social expenditures. This result rules out the partisan-politicians hypothesis and lends support to demand driven policy selection processes.

New working paper: “Cheat or Perish ? A Theory of Scientific Customs”

A new working paper of the Condorcet Center is avalaible HERE.


  • Benoît LE MAUX – CREM-CNRS and Condorcet Center, University of Rennes 1, France
  • Sarah NECKER – University of Freiburg, Walter-Eucken Institute, Deutschland
  • Yvon ROCABOY – CREM-CNRS and Condorcet Center, University of Rennes 1, France


We develop a theory of the evolution of scientific misbehavior. Our empirical analysis of a survey of scientific misbehavior in economics suggests that researchers’ disutility from cheating varies with the expected fraction of colleagues who cheat. This observation is central to our theory. We develop a one-principal multi-agent framework in which a research institution aims to reward scientific productivity at minimum cost. As the social norm is determined endogenously, performance-related pay may not only increase cheating in the short run but can also make cheat-ing increasingly attractive in the long run. The optimal contract thus depends on the dynamics of scientific norms. The premium on scientific productivity should be higher when the transmission of scientific norms across generations is lower (low marginal peer pressure) or the principal cares little about the future (has a high discount rate). Under certain conditions, a greater probability of detection also increases the optimal productivity premium.

The new web site of the Condorcet Center is online!

Discover the research and teaching activities of the Condorcet Center of Political Economy ! The center aims at carrying out research projects and promoting tools in the domain of public policies, at the local, national and international level. In the past years, it has organized many events and joint activities with other research centers. The host research institute for the Condorcet Center is a CNRS unit, the Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM). Within the framework of  the Faculty of economics of the University of Rennes 1, two master’s degree training programs have been designed: the master IMEPP (Ingénierie, management et évaluation des politiques publiques)  and the International Master in Public Finance.

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