Exogenous and endogenous determinants of Spanish mayors’ notions democracy

DEC Seminar
Joan-Josep Vallbé (Universitat de Barcelona) y Ángel Iglesias (Universidad Rey Juan Carlos)
23 January, 13h, Sala de Juntas

A common ground in the literature on elite’s notions of democracy is (1) that
leaders’ notions of democracy can be successfully captured by a representative participatory
dimension, and (2) that the way leaders view democracy is paramount
to understand their behavior. Taking on an institutional perspective, the most common
model combines an endogenous and exogenous origin of leaders’ notions of
democracy. The theory assumes that both local institutional arrangements and personal
characteristics may have an impact on the way local leaders perceive democracy
and behave. However, while some evidence has been found to support the
exogenous aspect of this theory (leaders’ ideology infuence notions of democracy),
the impact of local institutional arrangements on leaders’ notions of democracy has
received more limited empirical support. In this paper we provide a model of endogenous
and exogenous factors on local elite’s notions of democracy. In particular,
we show that local leaders’ political experience endogenizes the e ffect of ideology
on their notions of democracy and on their support to democratic reforms. We test
our model using survey data from a sample of mayors in Spanish municipalities and
find empirical support to our model. One of our main findings is that the effect
of ideology on mayors’s support for particular views of democracy decreases with
political experience.