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Electoral Systems and Economic Growth: What is the Importance of the Proportionality Degree?

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  • M. Rosaria Alfano
  • A. Laura Baraldi

Abstract

Previous empirical studies analysing the effect of electoral systems on growth lack unanimous answers as they miss-specify mixed systems in the empirical setting, that is, they neglect to consider the proportionality degree of mixed electoral systems. This work supplies the missing answers by properly distinguishing the three types of electoral rules using a proportionality degree index, that is, the Gallagher index. We estimate a non-linear relationship between the Gallagher proportionality index and the per capita GDP growth using cross-country panel data. Our findings show that the proportionality degree is significant for growth; mixed systems (characterised by an intermediate level of proportionality), combining the different advantages of both proportional and plurality systems, solve the problem of the accountability-responsiveness and the political-government instability trade-offs. As a consequence, they reach relatively higher growth rates with respect to more “extreme” electoral rules.

Suggested Citation

  • M. Rosaria Alfano & A. Laura Baraldi, 2014. "Electoral Systems and Economic Growth: What is the Importance of the Proportionality Degree?," EERI Research Paper Series EERI RP 2014/06, Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels.
  • Handle: RePEc:eei:rpaper:eeri_rp_2014_06
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Yeung, Timothy Yu-Cheong & Zuazu Bermejo, Izaskun, 2016. "Do Mayoritarian Electoral Rules Favour Larger Industries in the Economy," IKERLANAK Ikerlanak;2016-101, Universidad del País Vasco - Departamento de Fundamentos del Análisis Económico I.
    2. Yuriy O. Gaivoronskiy, 2015. "The Influence of Political Competition on the Efficiency of the Regional Executives in Russia," HSE Working papers WP BRP 28/PS/2015, National Research University Higher School of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economic Growth; Electoral System; Proportionality index.;

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H1 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government

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