Electoral systems and the distortion of voters' preferences
AbstractIn this paper I show that in a parliamentary democracy, contrary to common wisdom, under a proportional electoral rule governments do not necessarily represent voters' preferences better than under plurality rule. While voters affect the composition of Parliament, decisions are taken by a subset of Parliamentarians: a coalition of them decides directly and through the government. As a consequence, two distortions might occur: one at the electoral stage when Parliament is formed and the other at the coalition formation stage, when government is chosen. Through a model à la Rubinstein, I show that small parties' bargaining power increases when parties are patient; for sufficiently patient parties, the small (but pivotal) ones obtain a large bargaining power. The distortion introduced by plurality rule goes in the opposite direction; this can be beneficial (in term of voters' representativeness) as long as the impact of the two distortions is similar. I show that under non restrictive conditions, plurality rule can outperform the proportional rule in terms of representativeness of voters' preferences.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 12610.
Date of creation: 04 Sep 2008
Date of revision: 08 Jan 2009
Electoral systems; Proportional rule; Plurality rule; Voters' representation;
Other versions of this item:
- Piolatto, Amedeo, 2011. "Plurality versus proportional electoral rule: Which is most representative of voters?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 311-327, June.
- Amedeo Piolatto, 2009. "Plurality versus proportional electoral rule: which is most representative of voters?," Working Papers 2009/27, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
- Amedeo Piolatto, 2009. "Plurality versus proportional electoral rule: study of voters' representativeness," Working Papers. Serie AD 2009-14, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
- H1 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government
- C71 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Cooperative Games
- D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
- P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-01-17 (All new papers)
- NEP-CDM-2009-01-17 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-GTH-2009-01-17 (Game Theory)
- NEP-POL-2009-01-17 (Positive Political Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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