do political parties matter? - evidence from german municipalities
We assess whether the partisanship of local councils affects the level and composition of local public spending by German municipalities. Our identification strategy exploits changes in the party with the absolute majority in the local council, combining an instrumental variable strategy with a matching approach to address potential selection into treatment. We find evidence for strong partisan effects: Communities with a left-wing council majority spend more on 'people-oriented' public goods and less on infrastructure than communities with a right-wing dominated council.