Collegium Helveticum
generated using OpenAI
Fellow Project 2023–2024

The Political Class Ceiling
Inequality in Italian and French Local Politics

Why are legislators from the upper social classes more likely to get elected to office? And what implications does this upper-middle class skew in politics have for the economic policies that are adopted by elected government?

This project examines these questions, by scrutinizing the role played by electoral institutions. Focusing on Italy and France, it leverages a series of natural experiments to evaluate the effects of electoral reforms, adopted asymmetrically over time and across space since the early 1990s. Data collection centers on the coding of socio-economic information of local elites. This data is merged with financial information on public spending as well as historical information on sub-national tax rates.