Existing research on party aggregation focuses on the national level, relating it to changes in the federal distribution of powers. I argue that party aggregation also affects sub-national party systems, and therefore that study of party aggregation needs to extend beyond the national level. A comparative analysis reveals that party aggregation at the Indian sub-national (state) level does not respond uniformly to changes in the federal distribution of powers. While federal centralization has positive and significant effects on the number of parties in Indian states, the effects of federal decentralization are relatively less important. Furthermore, Indian states that are highly dependent on the national government have fewer parties and a higher degree of party aggregation. I conclude that existing analysis of party aggregation is simplistic, and that we need to develop a more comprehensive set of explanatory factors by which to study this phenomenon and to extend research in this area to the sub-national level
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