160,642 research outputs found

    It's parties that choose electoral systems (or Duverger's Law upside down)

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    This article presents, discusses and tests the hypothesis that it is the number of parties what can explain the choice of electoral systems, rather than the other way round. Already existing political parties tend to choose electoral systems that, rather than generate new party systems by themselves, will crystallize, consolidate or reinforce previously existing party configurations. A general model develops the argument and presents the concept of 'behavioral-institutional equilibrium' to account for the relation between electoral systems and party systems. The most comprehensive dataset and test of these notions to date, encompassing 219 elections in 87 countries since the 19th century, are presented. The analysis gives strong support to the hypotheses that political party configurations dominated by a few parties tend to establish majority rule electoral systems, while multiparty systems already existed before the introduction of proportional representation. It also offers the new theoretical proposition that strategic party choice of electoral systems leads to a general trend toward proportional representation over time.Elections, electoral systems, political parties, institutional equilibrium

    Runoff vs. plurality:the effects of the electoral system on local and central government behaviour

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    Plurality and runoff systems oer very different incentives to parties and coalition of voters, and demand different political strategies from potential candidates and chief executives. Italian mayors and city councils are elected with a different electoral system according to the locality's population, while municipalities are otherwise treated identically in terms of funding and powers. We exploit this institutional feature to test how the presence of different electoral systems affects the central government decisions on grants, and the local government decisions on local taxes. We find evidence that the upper-tier governments favour runoff-elected mayors, and that runoff-elected mayors levy lower taxes. This is broadly consistent with the literature on runoff and plurality rule electoral systems

    Electoral Systems in Context: Italy

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    Italy stands out among advanced industrialized democracies because of its frequency of major electoral reforms. In the postwar period, Italy has experienced four major electoral systems: the proportional representation (PR) system of the First Republic (1948–1992), mixed-member majoritarian (MMM, 1993–2005), and two varieties of PR with majority bonus (2005–2015, 2015–). In addition, there have been many failed attempts at electoral reform through legislation or referendum. The frequency of electoral reform makes Italy an important case for investigating the causes and effects of electoral system change. However, the path to each change has been somewhat idiosyncratic: the major reform of 1993 came against the backdrop of revelations of massive corruption, while the 2005 reform can be understood as an attempt to engineer divided government by an incumbent coalition expecting losses in the next election. The effects of the electoral reforms have also not always been as expected

    Political Corruption and Electoral Systems Seen with Economists’ Lenses

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    The ongoing process of democratisation lead to the growing importance of the electoral systems that regulate the procedures of gaining and legitimizing power in democracy. Taking it into account it is worth asking about the relationship between these particular ‘game rules’ contained into electoral law and the respect of the rule of law, being one of the basic norms of a democratic system. A question then may be raised about the existence and the character of the relation between electoral systems and the level of political corruption. It is worth noticing that besides the research conducted by political scientists and the representatives of various branches of social sciences the significant analysis of the issue have been presented by the economists. In this article a brief overview of the economic studies on the relationship between level of political corruption and the electoral systems is presented so as to assess to what degree this approach may be treated as fruitful

    Ranking Electoral Systems through Hierarchical Properties Ranking

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    Electoral systems are characterized by a wide spectrum of properties that cannot be all satisfied at the same time. We aim at examining such properties within a hierarchical framework, based on Analytic Hierarchy Process, performing pairwise comparisons at various levels of a hierarchy to get a global ranking of the electoral systems. In this way it should be possible to estimate the relative importance of each property with respect to the final ranking of every electoral formula.Electoral systems, global ranking, hierarchy, aggregations

    Human Development and Electoral Systems

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    The aim of this paper is to test if electoral systems and human development are linked. Using high quality data and very simple panel data econometric techniques, we show that electoral systems play a critical role in explaining the difference in the levels of human development between countries. We find that countries which have proportional systems enjoy higher levels of human development than those with majoritarian ones, thanks to more redistributive fiscal policies. We also find that when the degree of proportionality, based on electoral district size, increases, so does human development.

    ELECTORAL SYSTEMS, POVERTY AND INCOME INEQUALITY

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    In this article we use the high-quality data coming from the Luxembourg Income Study Project, in a panel framework, to test for the effects of electoral systems on both poverty and income Inequality. We find that when de degree of proportionality of an electoral system increases, inequality and poverty decrease. We also find than in presidential regimes, the levels of poverty and inequality are higher than in parliamentary regimes.Income Inequality, Poverty, Electoral Systems, Transfer Expenditure.

    Electoral reform in local government: alternative systems and key issues

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    The Government plans a full modernisation of local government, including annual elections and a stronger scrutiny role for elected representatives. Such a programme must also consider reform options which improve the match between votes and seats, revitalise local electoral dynamics and strengthen links between councillors and constituents. This research, by Patrick Dunleavy and Helen Margetts, investigates a key possibility for such an agenda: changing the local electoral system. The researchers simulated local elections under five alternative electoral systems to first-past-the-post

    Electoral reform in Asia: institutional engineering against "money politics"

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    This paper argues that the concept of intraparty competition – as opposed to interparty competition – provides the most useful lens through which to understand recent cases of electoral reform in East Asia. Various democracies in the region have over the past two decades replaced ‘extreme’ systems on the intraparty dimension with more moderate types. Pressure for reform built up as these systems were increasingly blamed for a number of social ills, such as "money politics" and economic mismanagement. The paper will conclude by arguing that the effect of electoral reform has been rather limited. In particular, particularistic strategies of voter mobilization – such as clientelism and vote buying – remain an important electoral tool for many politicians
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