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Publications in peer reviewed journals:

AbstractThis paper uses Swedish and Finnish municipal data to investigate the effect of changes in voter turnout on the tax rate, public spending and vote-shares. A reform in Sweden in 1970, which overall lowered the cost of voting, is applied as an instrument for voter turnout in local elections. The reform increased voter turnout in Sweden. The higher voter turnout resulted in higher municipal taxes and greater per capita local public spending. There are also indications that higher turnout decreased the vote share for right-wing parties. I use an individual survey data set to conclude that it was in particular low income earners that began to vote to a greater extent after the reform.

Working papers:

Revise and resubmit at the Journal of Political Economy

Abstract: Fluoridation of the drinking water is a public policy whose aim is to improve dental health. Although the evidence is clear that fluoride is good for dental health, concerns have been raised regarding potential negative effects on cognitive development. We study the effects of fluoride exposure through the drinking water throughout life on cognitive and non-cognitive ability, math test scores and labor market outcomes in a large-scale setting. We use a rich Swedish register data set for the cohorts born 1985–1992 in the main analysis, together with drinking water fluoride data. To estimate the effects, we exploit intra-municipality variation of fluoride, stemming from an exogenous variation in the bedrock. Taking all together, we investigate and confirm the long-established positive relationship between fluoride and dental health. Second, we find precisely estimated zero-effects on cognitive ability, non-cognitive ability and math test scores for fluoride levels in Swedish drinking water. Third, we find that fluoride improves later labor market outcomes, which indicates that good dental health is a positive factor on the labor market.

Abstract: We build a public finance model that explains why voters vote for right-wing populists, and also under which conditions established politicians will adopt a right-wing populist policy platform. Voters with lower private income have a stronger demand for basic public services at the expense of spending on a global good; generosity of refugee support systems, foreign aid, and environmental protection. Low income voters are thus more prone to support right-wing populists who oppose spending on such global goods. We conclude that established politicians that are challenged by right-wing populists will implement a policy with no global good spending if the relative cost of the global good is high enough. Additionally, adoption of right-wing populist policy is more likely when the economy is in a recession.

Work in progress:

Education and Cognitive Ability (with Björn Öckert and Mattias Öhman)

Intergenerational transmission of political affiliation (with Pär Nyman)

Do Political Acquaintances Make You Politically Active? (with Nazita Lajevardi, Pär Nyman, Karl-Oskar Lindgren and Sven Oskarsson)

Neighborhood contexts and political participation (with Nazita Lajevardi, Pär Nyman, Karl-Oskar Lindgren and Sven Oskarsson)

How membership in civil associations affects political participation: Evidence from Sweden (with Nazita Lajevardi and Pär Nyman). Submitted