Downsian Convergence on Non-Policy Issues

LIEPP seminar - June 6th 2019 - 12:30-14:30
  • Actualité Sciences PoActualité Sciences Po

L'axe Evaluation de la démocratie du LIEPP a le plaisir de vous inviter au séminaire: 

Downsian Convergence on Non-Policy Issues: Evidence from Campaign Manifestos at French Legislative Elections

suivi de 

Money and Ideology: Evidence from French Legislative elections

Caroline Le Pennec

Jeudi 6 juin 2019

12h30 - 14h30 

Salle du LIEPP

254 boulevard Saint Germain, 75007 Paris 



Downsian Convergence on Non-Policy Issues: Evidence from Campaign Manifestos at French Legislative Elections (joint with Paul Vertier)

In this paper we assess the extent to which individual politicians respond to electoral competition when policy positions are exogenously determined by their party and cannot be credibly altered. We exploit the natural variation in competition in two-round elections. More specifically, we assemble a unique dataset of about 30,000 manifestos circulated by candidates to the French legislative elections before each election round, between 1958 and 1993. Using computational text analysis, we scale manifestos on a left-to-right axis and show that candidates who make it to the runoff moderate their discourse before the second round. This convergence pattern toward the center of a left-to-right scale is not due to a change in views on policy issues. Instead, candidates move away from their party platform and campaign on more personalized and consensual arguments. We provide additional evidence that discourse moderation does not imply policy convergence but reflects convergence on non-policy issues. In particular, candidates who moderate their discourse the most seem less aligned with their voters' preferred platform and have lower chances of winning than other candidates from the same party. Conditional on being elected, they tend to engage in more legislative activity while in office - especially in activities related to constituency service.

Our empirical findings are consistent with a simple model where politicians choose strategically whether to campaign on - and later provide - policy or non-policy representation. As such, they have implications for our understanding of electoral competition and downsian convergence as a mechanism to provide 'good' representation, even when policy positions are fixed.

Money and Ideology: Evidence from French Legislative elections (joint with Julia Cage and Elisa Mougin)

We study the impact of corporate donations on the campaigning messages of the French Member of Parliament candidates and then on the subsequent parliamentary activity of the elected candidates. We construct a novel dataset that combines data on the type and amount of money received by the candidates and the contents of their political manifestos, as well as information on the bills their propose and on their questions to the members of the Government. We first analyze the determinants of corporate donations. Using textual analysis methods, we then examine whether the amount and the nature of donations influence electoral messages. More precisely, we study the impact of donations on candidate polarization and coherence with parties' stance and discourses. Considering the elected candidates, we finally analyze how their funding impact their subsequent parliamentary activity. Our data cover the 9th, 10th, and 11th legislatures: we exploit the French reform of 1988 that allow candidates to receive donations as a first shock on funding and the 1995 ban on corporate donations as a second shock, and use a difference-in-differences strategy to test for the effects of funding.

The Past and the Future of Welfare State Politics

Seminar LIEPP/CEE May15th 2019- 14h45-16h45
  • Actualité Sciences PoActualité Sciences Po

LIEPP and the Center of European Studies and Comparative Politics are glad to invite you to attend the seminar:  

The Past and the Future of Welfare State Politics 

Wednesday May 15th 2019

14h45 - 16h45


254 boulevard Saint Germain, 75007 Paris 

Please Register here 


Philipp Rehm



 Philipp Rehm

 Associate Professor at the Ohio State University 

 EURIAS fellow Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg


One of the most important purposes of the welfare state is to provide insurance and it is well known that information critically shapes the provision thereof. Yet, rather than playing the central role it warrants, information barely makes an appearance in the contemporary literature of welfare states in advanced industrialized countries. This is all the more surprising as we are living in an age of transformative changes in private insurance markets, spurred by the information revolution. These developments will reshape the politics of the welfare state, too. The talk offers a fresh perspective on the welfare state, putting the informational challenges characteristic for insurance markets front and center.


Bruno Palier




 Bruno Palier



Voting Power and the Supply of News Media: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from India

Seminar LIEPP/department of economics February 22nd 12:30-14:30
  • Actualité Sciences PoActualité Sciences Po


Le LIEPP et le département d'économie de Sciences Po ont le plaisir de vous inviter au séminaire :

Voting Power and the Supply of News Media: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from India

avec Guilhem Cassan

Vendredi 22 février de 12h30 à 14h30

Salle H101, 28, rue des Saints Pères



The price of democracy

Joint seminar LIEPP / EAP, September 26th 05:00 pm - 07:00 pm
  • Actualité Sciences PoActualité Sciences Po


LIEPP and School of Public Affairs of Sciences Po are pleased to invite you to the seminar around the Julia Cagé's new book: 

The price of democracy

 Wednesday, September 26th 2018
05:00 pm - 07:00 pm

Amphi Leroy Beaulieu
27 rue Saint Guillaume, 75007 Paris 

 Registration is closed

julia cagé

Julia Cagé
Assistant Professor - Department of Economics at Sciences Po,
Co-director of LIEPP's Evaluation of democracy research group

Le prix de la démocratie, Julia Cagé, Fayard, 2018.


One person, one voice: democracy is based on a promise of equality that too often comes crashing down on the wall of money. Financing campaigns, donations to political parties, taking control of the media: for decades, the democracy is increasingly captured by private interests.

Based on an unprecedented study of private and public political financing in a dozen countries over more than fifty years, Julia Cagé studies the state of democracy, dissects national models, and narrates attempts - often unsuccessful, but always instructive - regulating the relationship between money and politics.

In the United States, where all the regulation of democracy has been swept away by ideology, the political staff no longer responds to the preferences of the most favored. In France, the state has put in place a system of tax reductions allowing the richest to be reimbursed the bulk of their donations to political parties, while the poorest, they pay full price.

These drifts do not come from a conspicuously orchestrated plot but from our collective lack of involvement. The question of the financing of democracy has never really been raised; that of the representation of the popular classes must be on a more radical mode. To break the impasse, here are proposals that revolutionize the way of thinking politics and innovative reforms for a new democracy.


Martial Foucault, Professor of Political Science at Sciences Po, Director of CEVIPOF

Bastien François, Professor of Political Science at Paris 1 University - Panthéon Sorbonne, CESSP


See the video presenting the book "The price of démocracy" with Julia Cagé:

video julia cagé 

Read the interview of Julia Cagé [in French].

Media covarge

2nd Interdisciplinary Corruption Research (ICR) Forum

June 15-16 2017, Sciences Po, Paris
  • LIEPP-Sciences PoLIEPP-Sciences Po
  • LIEPP-Sciences PoLIEPP-Sciences Po


The Second Interdisciplinary Corruption Research (ICR) Forum “How to conceptualize corruption? Understanding corruption to design effective policies” aims to bring together international young researchers working in the field of (anti-)corruption. Keynote speeches, workshops and presentations focus on the conceptualization and theoretical underpinnings of anti-corruption policies.

The ICRForum 2017 offer room for exchange and new ideas on how corruption definitions change across time and space. These discussions combine theoretical and empirical efforts to conceptualize specific occurrences of corruption, such as systemic corruption or political corruption etc., and empirical work aiming to identify the roots of the problem. Furthermore, based on this jointly elaborated understanding of corruption, we seek to propose improvements for existing anti-corruption policies and develop ideas on new anti-corruption strategies.

More information about the conference on United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNDOC) website : 

"Conceptualizing corruption to design effective policies: how education is key to tackling crime"


Thursday, June 15th 2017

09:00 – 09:30 Registration and coffee 

09:30 – 10:30  Welcome note from the ICRNetwork, LIEPP and UNODC representatives 

10:30 – 12:30 Workshop session I

  1. The Role of Data: How Can Indicators Be Useful for Combatting Corruption?
  2. The Impact of International Assistance on Domestic Anti-Corruption Strategies
  3. How to Successfully Implement International Legal Norms in National AntiCorruption Contexts
  4. Corruption and the Impact of Democracy (authors' workshop) 

12:30 – 13:30 Lunch

13:30 – 15:30 Workshop session II

  1. Historical Roots of Corruption
  2. Conceptualizing Corruption in Fragile States
  3. The Importance of Social Norms in Designing Anti-Corruption Mechanisms
  4. Corruption and the Role of Law (authors' workshop) 

15:30 – 16:00 Coffee break 

16:00 – 18:00 Keynote speeches

  1. Kath Hall, Australian National University: "Don't forget the Whistleblower: Challenges in Regulating for the Reporting of Corruption"
  2. Julio Bacio-Terracino, OECD

Friday, June 15th 2017

09:00 – 10:00 Keynote speech : Paul Heywood, University of Nottingham: "Rethinking Corruption: Hocus-Pocus, Locus and Focus"

10:00 – 10:30 Coffee break

10:30 – 12:30 Workshop session III

  1. Corruption in Public Administration
  2. Compliance, Competition and Corruption: Private-Sector Perspectives
  3. Anti-Corruption Policies and Practices in Post-Soviet and Eastern European States
  4. Corruption and Norms: Why informal rules matter (authors' workshop)

12:30 – 14:00 Lunch

14:00 – 15:00 Keynote speech : Matthew Stephenson, Harvard University: "Scattered Thoughts and Musings on the Future of Anticorruption Research"

15:00 – 15:30 Coffee break

15:30 – 17:00 Plenary session: Education for Justice (E4J) Initiative, UNODC Ronan O'Laoire, UNODC, Oksana Huss, University of Duisburg-Essen, Nils Köbis, University of Amsterdam, Matthew Ayibakuro, University of Birmingham, Roxana Bratu, University College London, Elitza Katzarova, University of Braunschweig, Oksana Nesterenko, Anti-Corruption Research and Education Centre, Muriel Poisson, International Institute for Educational Planning-UNESCO, Laras Susanti, Universitas Gadjah Mada

17:00-17:30 Closing

More information on the research project and the Evaluation of LIEPP's Democracy research group