The Norwegian Municipality Reform & The Quality of Politicians
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- Master of Science 
This master thesis investigates how the local government reform affected the quality of local politicians in Norway. Quality is measured by education level and ability score measured by a regression on income, where we rely on pre political income as our main source of income statistics. Excellent data on individual candidates and on aggregate municipal level lets us exploit the time varying and cross-sectional components of the datasets. A descriptive analysis is done on multiple variables to elaborate on the effects on the local government reform in broader terms, while a more qualitative analysis is conducted to find the relationship of how the local government reform has affected the quality of politicians in both directly affected and unaffected municipalities. In addition, we provide an illustrative example of one larger amalgamation to show the local government reform effects on a municipal level. To estimate the effects of the local government reform on quality, we employ a standard difference-indifferences regression analysis in addition to a Mincer earning regression. First, we find that local politicians are positively selected based on years of schooling and Mincer score. Second, our empirical models suggest that the local government reform have a positive effect on the quality of elected politicians measured by years of schooling and little to no effect when measured by their ability score. The results suggests that the local government reform had no or very limited effect on the quality of local politicians elected to council in Norway.
Masteroppgave(MSc) in Master of Science in Business, Economics - Handelshøyskolen BI, 2021