Datasets on Charges of Malfeasance, Preference Votes, Government Portfolios, and Characteristics of Legislators, Chamber of Deputies, Republic of Italy, Legislatures I-XI, 1948-1992 (ICPSR 4535)

Published: Jun 21, 2007 View help for published

Principal Investigator(s): View help for Principal Investigator(s)
Miriam A. Golden, University of California-Los Angeles

Version V1


This study contains three individual datasets, as well as a combined dataset in which the component datasets have been merged and additional information incorporated.

Part 1:

The dataset contains preference votes received by Christian Democratic (DC) and Socialist Party (PSI) candidates in the Italian elections for Legislatures I-XI to the Chamber of Deputies (1948 to 1992). During this period, Italy used a relatively pure version of open-list proportional representation. Until the 1992 parliamentary elections, voters could optionally indicate their preference for as many as three (or in districts with 16 or more representatives, four) candidates from the party list they selected. As of 1992, voters could use only a single preference vote. Typically, only about 30 percent of Italian voters used any of their available preference votes. Individual candidates were seated according to the number of preference votes received, while the number of seats won by each party was determined by the number of list votes received by the party. The number of seats (district magnitude) in Italy's 31 electoral districts using proportional representation (a 32nd electoral district, the Valle d'Aosta, was a majoritarian single member district) ranged from 4 to 53, with the average around 20. Parties listed as many candidates as there were seats, and individuals could stand in as many as three districts simultaneously, as well as simultaneously for the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate. Starting with the elections held in 1994, the electoral system was substantially altered, and a mixed PR/majoritarian system used. It is not possible to match electoral districts before and after 1994. (This description of Italy's electoral system is taken from Douglas Wertman, "The Italian Electoral Process: The Elections of June 1976," in ITALY AT THE POLLS: THE PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS OF 1976, ed. Howard R. Penniman, Washington, D.C.: American Enterprise Institute, 1977.) The dataset includes the number of individual-level preference votes received by each Chamber candidate for the DC and PSI, the candidate's party affiliation, the candidate's district number, the candidate's legislature number, whether the candidate was elected or not, and whether, having won, the individual chose to be seated in another district or for the upper house instead. The data are arranged by candidate and district within each legislature. There may be multiple records of the same candidate within the same legislature if the individual ran in multiple districts.

Part 2:

The dataset on parliamentary malfeasance, contains information on all requests by the Italian judiciary to remove parliamentary immunity (so-called 'richieste di autorizzazioni a procedure', commonly abbreviated in Italian as RAP) from deputies during the first 11 postwar legislatures (elected in 1948 through 1992), including the nature of the judicial charges, the partisan affiliation of the deputy charged, the deputy's electoral district and legislature, whether immunity was lifted or not, etc. The Italian constitution (Article 68) required that the Ministry of Justice transmit requests to remove immunity to parliament in order to investigate a legislator for suspected criminal wrong-doing or in order to proceed with an arrest warrant. A majority vote by the floor of the relevant chamber was required to lift immunity. Requests were first dealt with in committee (by the 'Guinta per le autorizzazioni a procedere') before proceeding to the floor. Most requests over the period on which data are available were not granted. Many simply lapsed with the end of the legislature, never having been voted on. Legislators were investigated and/or charged with crimes ranging from traffic offenses to murder. Our coding distinguishes opinion crimes (such as libel and slander) from other (more serious) types of malfeasance. A constitutional change in November 1993 ended the requirement that the Chamber approve all requests to remove parliamentary immunity before the judiciary could proceed, and the dataset thus ends with the end of the XI Legislature in 1994. The data are arranged by RAP and deputy within each legislature. There may be multiple records of the same deputy within the same legislature if the individual was named in multiple RAP. A single RAP may name multiple deputies.

Part 3:

The dataset on government portfolios lists all ministers and undersecretaries for Legislatures I-XI, Republic of Italy. It includes information on whether the minister was drawn from the Chamber of Deputies, the Senate, or outside the legislature, as well as in which government the individual served. For members of the Chamber of Deputies, the individual's party affiliation, electoral district, party experience, and other demographic characteristics are also included. The data are arranged by individual and government within each legislature. There may be multiple records of the same minister within the same legislature if the individual was seated in multiple governments within the same legislative period.

Part 4:

The combined dataset on malfeasance, preference votes of DC and PSI candidates, government portfolios, and all seated deputies merges the three datasets above and incorporates the full universe of deputies. The combined dataset contains all the information enumerated above, and also includes records for all deputies not otherwise included, as well as the number of preference votes received by deputies affiliated with parties other than the DC and the PSI. Note that this combined dataset is complex because the same individual may appear multiple times even within the same legislature, for different reasons. The dataset on malfeasance contains a separate observation for each individual charge of malfeasance, so that deputies who are charged multiple times (either within the same legislative period or in different legislatures) appear as multiple separate observations. In the dataset on preference votes, the same candidate may appear more than once, if he or she stands for election in multiple districts and/or legislatures. The same is true, finally, for the dataset of government portfolios, because multiple governments were seated within a single legislature. Therefore, the same minister may appear more than once within a legislature if he or she held office in multiple governments. The component datasets were combined under the supervision of the Principal Investigator on the basis of a unique identifier ("tid") assigned to each individual person/deputy/minister. This allows the researcher to track individual deputies over different legislatures, as well as to track whether the same deputy was charged multiple times with malfeasance or served in multiple governments.

Golden, Miriam A. Datasets on Charges of Malfeasance, Preference Votes, Government Portfolios, and Characteristics of Legislators, Chamber of Deputies, Republic of Italy, Legislatures I-XI, 1948-1992. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2007-06-21.

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National Science Foundation (SES-0074860), University of California-Los Angeles. Academic Senate, Russell Sage Foundation
1948 -- 1994
2000 -- 2006
administrative records data



2018-02-15 The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented. The previous citation was:
  • Golden, Miriam A. DATASETS ON CHARGES OF MALFEASANCE, PREFERENCE VOTES, GOVERNMENT PORTFOLIOS, AND CHARACTERISTICS OF LEGISLATORS, CHAMBER OF DEPUTIES, REPUBLIC OF ITALY, LEGISLATURES I-XI, 1948-1992. ICPSR04535-v1. Los Angeles, CA: Miriam A. Golden [producer], 2007. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2007-06-21.


  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions.

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