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Politicians’ traits and public policies: learning how personal features influence fiscal outcomes

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "POLITRAITS" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
postcode: 8007

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Spain [ES]
 Project website
 Total cost 170˙121 €
 EC max contribution 170˙121 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2016
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-EF-ST
 Starting year 2017
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2017-09-01   to  2019-08-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITAT DE BARCELONA ES (BARCELONA) coordinator 170˙121.00


 Project objective

Nowadays there is little doubt that maximizing social welfare is not the sole goal of policymakers. Policy choices such as the level of taxation and spending are at the core of public economics. A positive approach to this field takes into account the fact that budgets and policies are set by political agents who are office-seekers. Early studies on political economy have focused on institutional factors, voters’ preferences, interests groups, and party ideology as major drivers of public policies. But a growing number of theoretical and empirical studies have started to examine the particular features of political leaders (e.g. gender or ethnicity) as relevant determinants of economic outcomes and policies.

This project seeks to contribute to the understanding of how the individual traits of politicians affect public policies. This approach shifts the focus of attention from political parties to individual legislators. In examining the impact of parties on policies, studies often treat parties as homogeneous units. In contrast, this project takes into consideration the heterogeneity of its members in several dimensions.

In particular, this project revolves around two topics. First, the politician‘s loyalty to her political party and its impact on public spending. A legislator may be reluctant to follow the party line if this generates a conflict with her constituents’ interests. To foster loyalty, parties may use discretionary spending targeted at specific districts. The second topic is the level of education of politicians. This project examines the possibility that education is not only a reflection of the level of skills but it acts as a dimension of political representation.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2018 Marta Curto-Grau, Galina Zudenkova
Party discipline and government spending: Theory and evidence
published pages: 139-152, ISSN: 0047-2727, DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2018.05.008
Journal of Public Economics 164 2019-09-02

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The information about "POLITRAITS" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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