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Acting Right? Privatization, Encompassing Interests, and the Left

Hicks, T; (2016) Acting Right? Privatization, Encompassing Interests, and the Left. Political Science Research and Methods , 4 (2) pp. 427-448. 10.1017/psrm.2015.11. Green open access

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Abstract

I present a theoretical account of the politics of privatization that predicts left-wing support for the policy is conditional on the proportionality of the electoral system. In contrast to accounts that see privatization as an inherently right-wing policy, I argue that, like trade policy, it has the feature of creating distributed benefits and concentrated costs. Less proportional electoral systems create incentives for the Left to be responsive to those who face the concentrated costs, and thus for them to oppose privatization more strongly. More proportional systems reduce these incentives and increase the extent to which distributed benefits are internalized by elected representatives. Hypotheses are derived from this theory at both the individual and macro-policy level, and then tested separately. Quantitative evidence on public opinion from the 1990s and privatization revenues from Western European countries over the period 1980–2005 supports the argument.

Type: Article
Title: Acting Right? Privatization, Encompassing Interests, and the Left
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1017/psrm.2015.11
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/psrm.2015.11
Language: English
Additional information: © The European Political Science Association, 2015. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published in Political Science Research and Methods, and available in its final form at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/psrm.2015.11.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Political Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1470778
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