Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

D. Kolcava, L. Rudolph and T. Bernauer (forthcoming): “Voluntary business initiatives can reduce public pressure for regulating firm behaviour abroad”, Journal of European Public Policy.
[Link to Publisher Site] [PDF] [Replication Material] [Abstract]

Almost all regulatory policy stops at the national border. Thus, when conducting business abroad, the behaviour of firms is regulated by their host, not their home country. Yet, international institutions have issued (non-binding) codes of conduct on social/environmental aspects of firm behaviour, and various high-income countries discuss how to improve extraterritorial firm behaviour – with high political contestation over the appropriate mix of state intervention and corporate self-regulation. Exploiting a unique national referendum on this issue in Switzerland, we investigate how these interact from a public opinion standpoint. Based on a nationally representative survey experiment (N=1564), we find that while baseline support for state intervention is high (approx. 60%), corporate self-regulation decreases such support. However, only credible voluntary business initiatives lead to substantial reductions. Our results speak to a broad policy debate in European countries and the EU on how to ensure compliance of firms with human rights and environmental standards.

Rudolph L. (forthcoming): “Turning Out to Turn Down the EU: Mobilizing Occasional Voters and Brexit”, Journal of European Public Policy.
[Link to Publisher Site] [PDF] [Replication Material] [Abstract]

Large amounts of occasional voters participated in the Brexit referendum. How did this increase in turnout affect the outcome of the referendum? To thoroughly explore this question we exploit exogenous variation in voting costs on the local level. Large amounts of rainfall on election day made voting slightly more inconvenient in some areas of the UK. Using this rainfall in an instrumental variable approach, we can assess the voting behaviour of citizens whose benefits of voting just surpass costs under normal circumstances. We show that these voters predominantly supported Leave. Hence, the increase in turnout led to higher Leave support. Subsequently, we explore the likely reason for this observation with survey data. We find evidence that occasional voters were not more likely to support Leave in general, but that the mobilisation of Leave-leaning vs. Remain-leaning occasional voters was lopsided: Leave-leaning occasional voters were more likely to turn out. In a broader picture, our research highlights that the issue-specific mobilisation of low-propensity voters is important for explaining electoral outcomes. This is particularly so in referendums with weak partisan preferences, and where singular issues dominate voter decision making.

Däubler, T. and L. Rudolph (forthcoming): “Cue-Taking, Satisficing, or Both? Quasi-experimental Evidence for Ballot Position Effects”, Political Behavior.
[Link to Publisher Site] [PDF]  [Replication Material] [Abstract]

Ballot position effects have been documented across a variety of political and electoral systems. In general, knowledge of the underlying mechanisms is limited. There is also little research on such effects in preferential-list PR systems, in which parties typically present ranked lists and thus signaling is important. This study addresses both gaps. Theoretically, we formalize four models of voter decision-making: pure appeal-based utility maximization, implying no position effects; rank-taking, where voters take cues from ballot position per se; satisficing, where choice is a function of appeal, but voters consider the options in the order of their appearance; and a hybrid “satisficing-with-rank-taking” variant. From these, we derive differential observable implications. Empirically, we exploit a quasi-experiment, created by the mixed-member electoral system that is used in the state of Bavaria, Germany. Particular electoral rules induce variation in both the observed rank and the set of competitors, and allow for estimating effects at all ranks. We find clear evidence for substantial position effects, which are strongest near the top, but discernible even for the 15th list position. In addition, a candidate’s vote increases when the average appeal of higher-placed (but not that of lower-placed) competitors is lower. Overall, the evidence is most compatible with the hybrid satisficing-with-rank-taking model. Ballot position thus affects both judgment and choice of candidates.

Leininger, A., L. Rudolph and S. Zittlau (2018): “How to Increase Turnout in Low Salience Elections. Quasi-Experimental Evidence on the Effect of Simultaneous Second-Order Elections on Political Participation”, Political Science Research and Methods, 6:3, pp. 509-526.
[Link to Publisher Site] [PDF] [Appendix] [Replication Material] [Abstract]

Voter turnout in second-order elections is on a dramatic decline in many modern democracies. This article investigates how electoral participation can be substantially increased by holding multiple of these less important elections simultaneously. Leading to a relative decrease in voting costs, concurrent elections theoretically have economies of scale to the individual voter and thus should see turnout levels larger than those obtained in any stand-alone election. Leveraging as-if-random variation of local election timing in Germany, we estimate the causal effect of concurrent mayoral elections on European election turnout at around 10 percentage points. Exploiting variation in treatment intensity, we show that the magnitude of the concurrency effect is contingent upon district size and the competitiveness of the local race.

Pamp, O., L. Rudolph, P. Thurner, A. Mehltretter and S. Primus (2018): “The Build-up of Coercive Capacities: Arms Imports and the Outbreak of Violent Intrastate Conflicts”, Journal of Peace Research, 38:4, pp. 429-444.
[Link to Publisher Site] [PDF] [Abstract]

Do governments’ military build-ups foster the outbreak of intrastate violence? This article investigates the impact of governments’ arms imports on the onset of intrastate conflicts. There is scant empirical research on the role of the external acquisition of coercive technologies, and even fewer studies explore the respective causal mechanisms of their consequences. We argue that the existing literature has not adequately considered the potential simultaneity between conflict initiation and arms purchases. In contrast, our study explicitly takes into account that weapon inflows may not only causally induce conflicts but may themselves be caused by conflict anticipation. Following a review of applicable theoretical models to derive our empirical expectations, we offer two innovative approaches to surmount this serious endogeneity problem. First, we employ a simultaneous equations model that allows us to estimate the concurrent effects of both arms imports on conflict onsets and conflict onsets on imports. Second, we are the first to use an instrumental variable approach that uses the import of weapon types not suitable for intrastate conflict as instruments for weapon imports that are relevant for fighting in civil wars. Relying on arms transfer data provided by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute for the period 1949-2013, we provide estimates for the effect of imports on civil war onset. Our empirical results clearly show that while arms imports are not a genuine cause of intrastate conflicts, they significantly increase the probability of an onset in countries where conditions are notoriously conducive to conflict. In such situations, arms are not an effective deterrent but rather spark conflict escalation.

Rudolph, L. and P. Kuhn (2017): “Natural Disasters and Political Participation: Evidence from the 2002 and 2013 Floods in Germany”, German Politics, 27:1, pp. 1-24.
[Link to Publisher Site] [PDF] [Appendix] [Replication Material] [Abstract]

How do natural disasters affect electoral participation? The existing social science literature offers contradictory predictions. A considerable body of research in sociology and psychology suggests that traumatic events can inspire pro-social behaviour, which might increase turnout. Yet, political science has long held that even minor changes to participation costs of low benefit activities can lead to considerable drops in civic engagement. Consequently, natural disasters should reduce electoral participation. We show how these distinct views can be jointly analysed within the Riker–Ordeshook model of voting. This paper then reports results on the impact of the 2002 and 2013 floods in Germany on turnout in federal and state elections in Saxony and Bavaria, conducted few weeks after the floods. Analysing community level turnout data, and drawing on a difference-in-differences framework, we find that flood exposure has a consistent negative effect on turnout. This indicates that the increase in the costs of voting outweighed any increase in political engagement in our case and stands in contrast to findings from developing contexts, where flood management was convincingly linked to electoral participation.

Rudolph, L. and T. Däubler (2016): “Holding Individual Representatives Accountable: The Role of Electoral Systems”, Journal of Politics, 78:3, 746-762.
[Link to Publisher Site] [PDF] [Appendix] [Replication Material] [Media Coverage] [Abstract]

Voters are reluctant to sanction representatives for individual misconduct if they have to balance candidate-level and party-level factors in their choice, but this trade-off is affected by the electoral system. Our general theoretical model explains why individual accountability can empirically occur in single-member district (SMD) systems but is expected under less restrictive conditions using open-list proportional representation (OLPR). The latter not only decouples party and candidate choice but also makes seat allocation more vote elastic. For a thorough empirical test of our argument, we draw on real-world evidence from state-level elections in Bavaria, Germany, which are held under an unusual mixed-member system. Exploiting a recent public scandal involving one-third of representatives, we examine how electoral punishment of the same candidates by the same voters differs across electoral rules. Drawing on difference-in-differences as well as matching/regression estimators, we show that electoral punishment is substantially larger under OLPR than under SMD systems.

Book Chapters and Online Publications

Rudolph, L. (2017): “Die Münchner Ergebnisse im Bundes- und Landesvergleich: Ein Ude-Effekt in München?” [The Federal and State Elections 2013 in Munich: A Local Incumbency Advantage?], In: Klima, A., H. Küchenhoff, M. Selzer, and P. Thurner (eds.): “Exit Polls und Hybrid-Modelle. Ein neuer Ansatz zur Modellierung von Wählerwanderungen” [Exit Polls and Hbrid Models. A New Approach to Model Voter Transitions]. Springer: Wiesbaden, pp. 21-35.
[Link to Book] [PDF] [Appendix]

Thurner, P., A. Klima, and L. Rudolph (2017): “Wählerwanderung bei Landtags- und Bundestagswahl 2013.” [Voter Transitions at the Federal and State Elections 2013?], In: Klima, A., H. Küchenhoff, M. Selzer, and P. Thurner (eds.): “Exit Polls und Hybrid-Modelle. Ein neuer Ansatz zur Modellierung von Wählerwanderungen” [Exit Polls and Hbrid Models. A New Approach to Model Voter Transitions]. Springer: Wiesbaden, pp. 171-180.
[Link to Book]

Rudolph, L. (2013): “Federalism in South Asia and Beyond – An Introduction to Models, Best Practices and New Challenges“, in: Hegemer, C. and H. Bühler (eds.): „Federalism in Asia and Beyond – The Wildbad Kreuth Federalism Days 2012”, Hanns Seidel Foundation, Munich, pp. 17-38

Rudolph, L. (2012): “Evaluation of Development Programs. Theory of Quantitative Impact Estimation and Its Application to an Asset-Based Approach to Poverty Alleviation”, University of Munich (LMU), Münchner Beiträge zur Politikwissenschaft: 23, 161 p.
[Link to Thesis]

Behnke, J., J. Hintermaier and L. Rudolph (2010): “Die Bedeutung von Werten für Verteilungsergebnisse im Ultimatum- und Diktatorspiel“ [The Relevance of Values for Distributions in Ultimatum and Dictator Games], in: Behnke, J., T. Bräuninger and S. Shikano (ed.): „Jahrbuch für Handlungs- und Entscheidungstheorie – Band 6”, VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, pp. 167-192.
[Link to Chapter] [Chapter]

Newspaper Articles (selected)

Rudolph, L. (2012): „Myanmar in Transition“, Diplomatic Magazine, Issue 9/2012, pp. 50-51.

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