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Electoral Systems and Inequalities in Government Interventions

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  • Garance Génicot
  • Laurent Bouton
  • Micael Castanheira De Moura

Abstract

This paper studies the political determinants of inequalities in government interventions under majoritarian (MAJ) and proportional representation (PR) systems. We propose a model of electoral competition with highly targetable government interventions and heterogeneous localities. We uncover a novel relative electoral sensitivity effect that affects government interventions only under the majoritarian (MAJ) systems. This effect tends to reduce inequality in government interventions under MAJ systems when districts are composed of sufficiently homogeneous localities. This effect goes against the conventional wisdom that MAJ systems are necessarily more conducive to inequality than PR systems. We illustrate the empirical relevance of our results with numerical simulations on possible reforms of the U.S. Electoral College.

Suggested Citation

  • Garance Génicot & Laurent Bouton & Micael Castanheira De Moura, 2020. "Electoral Systems and Inequalities in Government Interventions," Working Papers ECARES 2020-44, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:eca:wpaper:2013/313225
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    Cited by:

    1. Galasso, Vincenzo & Nunnari, Salvatore, 2019. "The Economic Effects of Electoral Rules: Evidence from Unemployment Benefits," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 14(3), pages 259-291, July.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Distributive Politics; Electoral Systems; Electoral College; Public Good; Inequality;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H00 - Public Economics - - General - - - General

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