Bilal El Rafhi
|Publication type||Working paper|
Dissatisfaction with political representation in established democracies goes hand inhand with a craze towards representatives coming from the “civil society” referred to aspolitical outsiders.
We explore whether their access to key political positions results innoticeable changes. Specifically, we investigate whether they differ in terms of ability policy preferences from experienced politicians whose definition and measurement constitute empirical challenges. Our analysis relies on original data on the activity of over 1,000 members of the French Parliament (MPs) between 2012 and 2020.
First, we compute anon-parametric multi-dimensional index measuring MPs’ legislative activity. Results suggest that the activity of new MPs follows a learning curve and takes time to catch-up with experienced counterparts.
However, sitting in Parliament for too long also has a negative impact on activity.
Second, we define a new methodology that assesses differences in pol-icy preferences between new and reelected MPs. Evidence reveals that (i) the dynamics of political parties explains much of the voting behavior differences between newly-elected and reelected MPs, and that (ii) the voting behavior of new MPs depends strongly on the degree of competition that the MP faces in legislative elections.