IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Behind the cube rule: implications of, and evidence against a fractal electoral geography

Listed author(s):
  • John Maloney


    (Department of Economics, University of Exeter)

  • Bernard Pearson

    (Department of Economics, University of Exeter)

  • Andrew Pickering

    (Department of Economics, University of Bristol)

In 1909 Parker Smith showed that the ratio of seats won by the two major parties in Britain was close to the cube of the ratio of their votes. Taagepera and Shugart argue, wrongly, that a fractal electoral map implies this. In fact their premises imply that the seats’ ratio will be the votes’ ratio to the power of 3 , not 3. However, in the six countries we examine, the figure is between 2 and 3. This implies that the electoral map is nonfractal, political allegiances becoming less ‘clustered’ as you move from a macro to a micro scale. Taking the U.K., we ask if this is due to the geographical pattern of income distribution, and find that this is even further away from fractality than is voting. This fits the well-known ‘chameleon effect’ whereby poor (rich) people in rich (poor) constituencies vote as if richer (poorer) than they really are.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Exeter University, Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 0103.

in new window

Date of creation: 2001
Handle: RePEc:exe:wpaper:0103
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Streatham Court, Rennes Drive, Exeter EX4 4PU

Phone: (01392) 263218
Fax: (01392) 263242
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:exe:wpaper:0103. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Carlos Cortinhas)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.