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Is there an incumbency advantage or cost of ruling in proportional election systems?

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  • Che-Yuan Liang

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Abstract

This paper investigates the effects of political representation on electoral outcomes at the party and coalition levels in proportional election systems using data from Swedish local government elections. There are two notions of representation, namely, to hold seats and to belong to the ruling coalition. I refer to the effect of the former as the incumbency effect and the effect of the latter as the ruling effect. The discontinuous variation in the seat share as the vote share varies for parties is used to isolate exogenous variation in incumbency. The discontinuous variation in ruling at the 50% seat share cutoff for coalitions is used in order to exogenous variation in ruling. I find that incumbency determines the distribution of 12% of the total vote, which is similar to the advantage found in majoritarian systems. I find no ruling effect, contrary to the commonly found cost of ruling in proportional systems. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Che-Yuan Liang, 2013. "Is there an incumbency advantage or cost of ruling in proportional election systems?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 154(3), pages 259-284, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:154:y:2013:i:3:p:259-284
    DOI: 10.1007/s11127-011-9817-8
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    Cited by:

    1. Carlsson, Magnus & Dahl, Gordon B. & Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2016. "Do Politicians Change Public Attitudes?," IZA Discussion Papers 10349, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Meriläinen, Jaakko, 2013. "Do Single-Party and Coalition Governments Differ in their Economic Outcomes? Evidence from Finnish Municipalities," Working Papers 51, VATT Institute for Economic Research.
    3. Manuela Krause & Niklas Potrafke, 2017. "The Real Estate Transfer Tax and Government Ideology: Evidence from the German States," CESifo Working Paper Series 6491, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Björn Kauder & Niklas Potrafke, 2013. "Government Ideology and Tuition Fee Policy: Evidence from the German States," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 59(4), pages 628-649, December.
    5. Kaisa Kotakorpi & Panu Poutvaara & Marko Tervio, 2013. "Returns to office in national and local politics," Discussion Papers 86, Aboa Centre for Economics.
    6. Christian Bjørnskov & Niklas Potrafke, 2013. "The size and scope of government in the US states: does party ideology matter?," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 20(4), pages 687-714, August.
    7. Paul Redmond & John Regan, 2013. "Incumbency Advantage in Irish Elections: A Regression Discontinuity Analysis," Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series n241-13.pdf, Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth.
    8. Freier, Ronny & Odendahl, Christian, 2015. "Do parties matter? Estimating the effect of political power in multi-party systems," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 310-328.
    9. Magnus Carlsson & Gordon B. Dahl & Dan-Olof Rooth, 2015. "Backlash in Attitudes After the Election of Extreme Political Parties," NBER Working Papers 21062, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Redmond, Paul & Regan, John, 2015. "Incumbency advantage in a proportional electoral system: A regression discontinuity analysis of Irish elections," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 244-256.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Incumbency advantage; Cost of ruling; Proportional election systems; Regression discontinuity; Local governments; D72; D73;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption

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