A spatial voting model where proportional rule leads to two-party equilibria
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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"Sophisticated voting and equilibrium refinements under plurality rule,"
Social Choice and Welfare,
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- 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. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
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