This article conducts a theoretical and empirical analysis of the allocation of the full set of jobs - both cabinet and junior ministers - in the Prodi Government that formed after the Italian election of 1996. We first discuss theoretical arguments linking forecasts of government policy to the policy positions of both cabinet and junior ministers. We then estimate the policy positions of cabinet and junior ministers appointed to the Prodi cabinet, applying a new technique for computerized content analysis to the collected legislative speeches of each minister during the 1996-1997 parliamentary session. Having considered the face validity of these results, we then use them to explore to observable implications of the various theoretical approaches. We conclude that, in this case, there does appear to be systematic evidence linking both the allocation of government jobs and the evolution of spending patterns between departments to the policy positions of senior politicians.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science