Vote with your rabbi: The electoral effects of religious institutions in Israel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


How do religious parties mobilize local support and what impact does different political strategies have on neighborhoods? Previous literature focuses on the social welfare benefits distributed by religious parties. In this paper, I analyze how religious political parties in Israel generate grassroots support among voters by allying with Jewish religious institutions. Using original data, I examine the association between the timing of entry of religious institutions into neighborhoods and local voting patterns for Israeli national elections. I find that religious institutions are associated with a 4-percentage point increase in the local vote share for religious parties, where this effect is larger for religious institutions with connections to political parties. My results suggest that the primary mechanism driving these results are that these institutions influence the vote choice of existing residents by distributing tangible goods. In contrast, changes to the composition of the neighborhood through in-migration has a more limited effect on voting patterns. These findings highlight the impact of religious institutions on the social and political fabric of local communities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102241
JournalElectoral Studies
StatePublished - Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Political Science and International Relations


Dive into the research topics of 'Vote with your rabbi: The electoral effects of religious institutions in Israel'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this