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Plurality Rule, Proportional Representation, and the German Bundestag: How Incentives to Pork-Barrel Differ Across Electoral Systems

  • Thomas Stratmann
  • Martin Baur

This paper examines the importance of electoral rules for legislators’ behavior. The German electoral system includes a mechanism which assigns whether legislators are elected under the “first-past-the-post” (FPTP), or the proportional representation (PR) electoral rule. Using this institution, we identify the effect of electoral rules on legislators’ behavior and disentangle whether so-called pork barrel politics are due to political climate in a country or due to the electoral rule employed. We find significant differences in committee membership, depending whether the legislator is elected though FPTP or PR. legislators elected through FPTP system are members of committees that allows them to service their geographically based constituency. Legislators elected through PR are members of committees that service the party constituencies, which are not necessarily geographically based.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2002/wp-cesifo-2002-01/650.PDF
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 650.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_650
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  1. Rogerson, William P, 1990. "Political Institutions and Fiscal Policy: Evidence from the U.S. Historical Record: Comment," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(0), pages 155-66.
  2. Inman, Robert P & Fitts, Michael A, 1990. "Political Institutions and Fiscal Policy: Evidence from the U.S. Historical Record," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(0), pages 79-132.
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