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Party Formation and Policy Outcomes under Different Electoral Systems

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  • MASSIMO MORELLI

Abstract

I introduce a model of representative democracy with strategic parties, strategic candidates, strategic voters and multiple districts. If policy preferences are similar across districts and not too concentrated within districts, then the number of effective parties is larger under proportional representation (PR) than under plurality, and both electoral systems determine the median voter's preferred policy. However, for more asymmetric distributions of preferences the Duvergerian predictions can be "reversed", and the policy outcome with PR is more moderate than the one with plurality. Sincere voting induces more party formation, and strategic voting can be observed more often under PR. Copyright 2004 The Review of Economic Studies Ltd.

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal The Review of Economic Studies.

Volume (Year): 71 (2004)
Issue (Month): (07)
Pages: 829-853

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Handle: RePEc:bla:restud:v:71:y:2004:i::p:829-853

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  1. DE SINOPOLI, Francesco & IANNANTUONI, Giovanna, 2000. "A spatial voting model where proportional rule leads to two-party equilibria," CORE Discussion Papers 2000037, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  2. Alesina, Alberto & Spear, Stephen, 1988. "An Overlapping Generations Model of Electoral Competition," Scholarly Articles 4553015, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. E. Maskin, 1979. "Voting Schemes for Public Alternatives: Some Notes on Majority Rule," Working papers 229, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  4. Tim Besley & Stephen Coate, . ""An Economic Model of Representative Democracy''," CARESS Working Papres 95-02, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  5. Osborne, Martin J & Slivinski, Al, 1996. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(1), pages 65-96, February.
  6. Alessandro Lizzeri & Nicola Persico, . ""The Provision of Public Goods Under Alternative Electoral Incentives''," CARESS Working Papres 98-08, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  7. Caillaud, B. & Tirole, J., 1999. "Party governance and ideological bias," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 779-789, April.
  8. Alesina, Alberto & Rosenthal, Howard, 1996. "A Theory of Divided Government," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1311-41, November.
  9. Harrington, Joseph Jr., 1992. "The role of party reputation in the formation of policy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 107-121, October.
  10. Roger B. Myerson, 1998. "Theoretical Comparisons of Electoral Systems," Discussion Papers 1261, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  11. David P. Myatt, 2000. "The New Theory of Strategic Voting," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1586, Econometric Society.
  12. Wittman, Donald, 1977. "Candidates with policy preferences: A dynamic model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 180-189, February.
  13. Alesina, Alberto, 1988. "Credibility and Policy Convergence in a Two-Party System with Rational Voters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 796-805, September.
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