Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Designing a regional cabinet: How the economic context, political fragmentation and polarization shape cabinet size

Toni Rodon, Pau Vall-Prat


This article aims at studying the effect of the state of the economy and the charac- teristics of the party supply in Parliament on regional cabinet size. We complement previous literature on the characteristics of governments and analyse whether the magnitude of the cabinet varies as a function of the state of the economy, the number of opposition parties and the level of party polarization for the opposition parties. Results show that better economic conditions and a larger number of opposition political parties in parliament are associated with a larger number of portfolios. Ideological polarization of the parties in the legislature does not seem to have an influence when designing the cabinet structure. Findings also show that the effect of the economic conditions is not equal for all cabinets: cabinets with less political constraints (majority status or fewer opposition parties) will be more sensitive to economic vicissitudes. This article, therefore, highlights how the parliamentary scenario and the economic context significantly influence the decisions on how to form or reshuffle a cabinet.

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