The Proportionality of Electoral Systems: Electoral Welfare and Electoral Inequality
This paper argues that measuring the degree of proportionality in an electoral system is equivalent to measuring the degree of electoral inequality, defined in terms of inter-party differences in the seats-to-votes ratio. It proposes an index of the degree of electoral inequality which is based on Atkinson's (1970) index, applied originally to measuring income inequality. This index satisfies all the criteria proposed in the literature for evaluating measures of electoral proportionality. In addition, such an Atkinson-type index of electoral inequality can also be given a welfarist interpretation by directly relating its value to the level of electoral welfare. Under such an interpretation, the disproportionality in an electoral system may be interpreted as being the result of the system imputing voting shares to the different political parties which are different from their actual voting shares. The larger this difference, the greater the degree of disproportionality in the system. The use of this index is illustrated by an application to the outcomes of Irish General Elections from 1923 till 1997. Copyright 2002 Blackwell Publishers Ltd..
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.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 14 (2002)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0954-1985|
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/subs.asp?ref=0954-1985|
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:ecopol:v:14:y:2002:p:83-98. 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: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing)or (Christopher F. Baum)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.