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Plurality versus Proportional Representation: An Analysis of Sicilian Elections


  • Mudambi, Ram
  • Navarra, Pietro
  • Nicosia, Carmela


The competing merits of plurality and proportional representation have intrigued political economists and political scientists for quite some time. Of primary interest is whether one or the other system is better in serving the interests of the electorate. Since theoreticians are unable to unambiguously determine the answer to this question, the issue must ultimately be decided empirically. We use data from Sicilian elections, where the system was recently altered toward the system of plurality. We are able to demonstrate that the proportional representation system engenders greater information among voters and elicits greater commitment form them than plurality. We are also able to show that in larger towns increased information causes a more dispersed vote under a proportional representation system; further, this result does not hold under plurality. This may have some implications for the size of positional rents reaped by political parties under the two electoral systems. Copyright 1996 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Suggested Citation

  • Mudambi, Ram & Navarra, Pietro & Nicosia, Carmela, 1996. "Plurality versus Proportional Representation: An Analysis of Sicilian Elections," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 86(3-4), pages 341-357, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:86:y:1996:i:3-4:p:341-57

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    Cited by:

    1. Alain Verbeke & Liena Kano, 2013. "The transaction cost economics (TCE) theory of trading favors," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 409-431, June.
    2. Jean-Michel Josselin & Yvon Rocaboy & Christophe Tavéra, 2009. "The influence of population size on the relevance of demand or supply models for local public goods: Evidence from France," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 88(3), pages 563-574, August.
    3. Mudambi, Ram & Navarra, Pietro & Sobbrio, Giuseppe, 1999. "Changing the rules: political competition under plurality and proportionality," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 547-567, September.

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