Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Economic interests and the origins of electoral systems

Contents:

Author Info

  • Cusack, Thomas R.
  • Iversen, Torben
  • Soskice, David
Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    Die gängige Begründung – basierend auf der bahnbrechenden Arbeit Rokkans – dafür, dass ein spezifisches Wahlsystem bevorzugt wird, ist, dass die Verhältniswahl („proportional respresentation“ oder „PR“) von einer zersplitterten Rechte eingeführt wurde, um ihre Klasseninteressen gegenüber denen einer wachsenden Linken zu verteidigen. Neue Erkenntnisse zeigen jedoch, dass PR tatsächlich die Linke und das Konzept der Umverteilung stärkt. Wir behaupten daher, dass die allgemein akzeptierte Sichtweise historisch, analytisch und empirisch falsch ist. Unsere Erklärung für die Einführung der PR ist eine grundlegend andere: Durch die Integration zweier gegensätzlicher Interpretationen von PR – das Konzept der minimal erfolgreichen Koalitionen [minimum winning coalition] gegenüber dem Konzept des Konsens – gehen wir davon aus, dass die Rechte PR übernommen hat, als ihre Unterstützung für konsensuelle rechtliche Rahmenbedingungen (besonders im Arbeitsmarkt und in der Ausbildung neuer Arbeitskräfte, wo spezifische Investitionen wichtig waren) wichtiger wurde als ihre Abneigung gegen die Umverteilungsauswirkungen; dies passierte in den Ländern, die vorher eine eng organisierte kommunale Wirtschaft hatten. In Ländern mit relativ schlechten Arbeitgeber- Arbeitnehmer-Beziehungen und einer schwach ausgeprägten Koordination zwischen Wirtschaft und Gewerkschaften hatte die Beibehaltung von Mehrheitssystemen die Funktion, die Linke in Schach zu halten. Diese Tatsache erklärt die enge Beziehung zwischen den bestehenden Varianten von Kapitalismus und Wahlsystemen und warum diese weiterhin fortbestehen. -- The standard explanation for the choice of electoral institutions, building on Rokkan’s seminal work, is that proportional representation (PR) was adopted by a divided right to defend its class interests against a rising left. But new evidence shows that PR strengthens the left and redistribution, and we argue the standard view is wrong historically, analytically, and empirically. We offer a radically different explanation. Integrating two opposed interpretations of PR – minimum winning coalitions versus consensus – we propose that the right adopted PR when their support for consensual regulatory frameworks, especially of labor markets and skill formation where co-specific investments were important, outweighed their opposition to the redistributive consequences; this occurred in countries with previously densely organized local economies. In countries with adversarial industrial relations, and weak coordination of business and unions, keeping majoritarian institutions helped contain the left. This explains the close association between current varieties of capitalism and electoral institutions, and why they persist over time.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL: http://econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/51231/1/534563600.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) in its series Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Institutions, States, Markets with number SP II 2007-07.

    as in new window
    Length:
    Date of creation: 2007
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbism:spii200707

    Contact details of provider:
    Postal: Reichpietschufer 50, 10785 Berlin, Germany
    Phone: ++49 - 30 - 25491 - 0
    Fax: ++49 - 30 - 25491 - 684
    Email:
    Web page: http://www.wzb.eu/
    More information through EDIRC

    Related research

    Keywords: Economic Models of Political Processes; Government; War; Law; and Regulation (Comparative); Political Economy of Capitalism;

    Find related papers by JEL classification:

    References

    References listed on IDEAS
    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.:
    as in new window
    1. Hall, Peter A. & Soskice, David (ed.), 2001. "Varieties of Capitalism: The Institutional Foundations of Comparative Advantage," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199247752, September.
    2. Josep M. Colomer, 2005. "It's Parties That Choose Electoral Systems (or, Duverger's Laws Upside Down)," Political Studies, Political Studies Association, vol. 53, pages 1-21, 03.
    3. Guinnane, T.W., 1992. "A Failed Institutional Transplant: Raiffeisen's Credit Cooperatives in Ireland, 1894-1914," Papers 165, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
    4. Timothy W. Guinnane, 1997. "Cooperatives as Information Machines: German Rural Credit Cooperatives, 1883-1914," Discussion Papers 97-20, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as in new window

    Cited by:
    1. Stefan Voigt, 2011. "Positive constitutional economics II—a survey of recent developments," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 146(1), pages 205-256, January.
    2. repec:hal:cepnwp:halshs-00586850 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Gatti, Donatella, 2008. "Macroeconomic Effects of Ownership Structure in OECD Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 3415, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbism:spii200707. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (ZBW - German National Library of Economics).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.