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Mechanical and Psychological Effects of Electoral Reform

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  • Jon H. Fiva
  • Olle Folke

Abstract

Duverger (1954) noted that changes in electoral systems will have two types of effects: mechanical effects, and reactions of political agents in anticipation of these, which he referred to as psychological effects. It is complicated to empirically separate the two effects since these occur simultaneously. In this paper we use a large set of counterfactual election outcomes to address this issue. Our application is based on a nationwide municipal electoral reform in Norway, which changed the seat allocation method from d’Hondt to modified Sainte-Lagüe. Even though this electoral reform is of a relatively small magnitude, we document substantial psychological effects.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2011/wp-cesifo-2011-06/cesifo1_wp3505.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3505.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3505

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References

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  1. Per Pettersson-Lidbom, 2004. "Does the Size of the Legislature Affect the Size of Government? Evidence from Two Natural Experiments," Discussion Papers 350, Government Institute for Economic Research Finland (VATT).
  2. Kei Kawai & Yasutora Watanabe, 2013. "Inferring Strategic Voting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(2), pages 624-62, April.
  3. Andersen, Jørgen Juel & Fiva, Jon H. & Natvik, Gisle James, 2014. "Voting when the stakes are high," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 157-166.
  4. Van Der Straeten, Karine & Sauger, Nicolas & Laslier, Jean-François & Blais, André, 2010. "The Mechanical and Psychological Effects of Electoral Systems: An Appraisal with Experimental Data," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Docweb) 1021, CEPREMAP.
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Cited by:
  1. Janne Tukiainen & Teemu Lyytikäinen, 2013. "Voters are rational," Working Papers 50, Government Institute for Economic Research Finland (VATT).
  2. Tuukka Saarimaa & Janne Tukiainen, 2013. "Local representation and strategic voting: evidence from electoral boundary reforms," Working Papers 2013/32, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  3. Jon H. Fiva & Olle Folke & Rune J. Sørensen, 2013. "The Power of Parties," CESifo Working Paper Series 4119, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Janne Tukiainen & Tuukka Saarimaa & Hyytinen & Ari, 2013. "Seat competitiveness and redistricting: Evidence from voting on municipal mergers," Working Papers 38, Government Institute for Economic Research Finland (VATT).
  5. Baskaran, Thushyanthan & da Fonseca, Mariana Lopes, 2013. "Electoral thresholds and political outcomes: Quasi-experimental evidence from a reform in Germany," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 177, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.

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