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Electoral systems, political career paths and legislative behavior: evidence from South Korea's mixed-member system

By Jun Hae-Won and Simon Hix


A growing literature looks at how the design of the electoral system shapes the voting behavior of politicians in parliaments. Existing research tends to confirm that in mixed-member systems the politicians elected in the single-member districts are more likely to vote against their parties than the politicians elected on the party lists. However, we find that in South Korea, the members of the Korean National Assembly who were elected on PR lists are more likely to vote against their party leadership than the members elected in single-member districts (SMDs). This counterintuitive behavior stems from the particular structure of candidate selection and politicians' career paths. This suggests that any theory of how electoral systems shape individual parliamentary behavior needs to look beyond the opportunities provided by the electoral rules for voters to reward or punish individual politicians (as opposed to parties), to the structure of candidate selection inside parties and the related career paths of politicians

Topics: JQ Political institutions Asia
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Year: 2010
DOI identifier: 10.1017/S1468109910000058
OAI identifier:
Provided by: LSE Research Online

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