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A spatial voting model where proportional rule leads to two-party equilibria

  • DE SINOPOLI, Francesco
  • IANNANTUONI, Giovanna

In this paper we show that in a simple spatial model where the government is chosen under strict proportional rule, if the outcome function is a linear combination of parties' positions, with coefficients equal to their share of seats, only a two-party voting equilibrium basically exists. The two parties taking a positive number of votes are the two extremist ones. Applications of this result include an extension of the well-known Alesina and Rosenthal's model of divided government as well as a modified version of Besley and Coate's model of representative democracy. This result cannot be extended to a general outcome function but, however, when the policy is determined by the two leading parties, in pure strategies, only two-party equilibria can emerge. Analogous result holds for coalitions of parties.

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Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) in its series CORE Discussion Papers with number 2000037.

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Date of creation: 00 Jul 2000
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Handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:2000037
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  1. Tim Besley & Stephen Coate, . ""An Economic Model of Representative Democracy''," CARESS Working Papres 95-02, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  2. Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1998. "Competing for Endorsements," Papers 09-98, Tel Aviv.
  3. Alesina, Alberto & Rosenthal, Howard, 2000. "Polarized platforms and moderate policies with checks and balances," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 1-20, January.
  4. Ignacio OrtuÓo-OrtÎn, 1997. "A spatial model of political competition and proportional representation," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 427-438.
  5. Francesco De Sinopoli, 2000. "Sophisticated voting and equilibrium refinements under plurality rule," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 17(4), pages 655-672.
  6. Austen-Smith, David & Banks, Jeffrey., 1987. "Elections, Coalitions, and Legislative Outcomes," Working Papers 643, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  7. Roger B. Myerson & Robert J. Weber, 1988. "A Theory of Voting Equilibria," Discussion Papers 782, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  8. Alesina, Alberto & Rosenthal, Howard, 1996. "A Theory of Divided Government," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1311-41, November.
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