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Electoral Institutions and Intraparty Cohesion

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  • Matakos, Konstantinos
  • Savolainen, Riikka
  • Troumpounis, Orestis
  • Tukiainen, Janne
  • Xefteris, Dimitrios

Abstract

We study parties' optimal ideological cohesion across electoral rules, when the following trade-off is present: A more heterogenous set of candidates is electorally appealing (catch-all party), yet, it serves policy-related goals less efficiently. When the rule becomes more disproportional, thus inducing a more favorable seat allocation for the winner, the first effect is amplified, incentivizing parties to be less cohesive. We provide empirical support using a unique data-set that records candidates' ideological positions in Finnish municipal elections. Exploiting an exogenous change of electoral rule disproportionality at different population thresholds, we identify the causal effect of electoral rules on parties' cohesion.

Suggested Citation

  • Matakos, Konstantinos & Savolainen, Riikka & Troumpounis, Orestis & Tukiainen, Janne & Xefteris, Dimitrios, 2018. "Electoral Institutions and Intraparty Cohesion," Working Papers 109, VATT Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:fer:wpaper:109
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Helios Herrera & Aniol Llorente-Saguer & Joseph C. McMurray, 2016. "The Marginal Voter's Curse," Working Papers 798, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
    2. Peter Egger & Marko Koethenbuerger, 2010. "Government Spending and Legislative Organization: Quasi-experimental Evidence from Germany," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 200-212, October.
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    4. Severin Borenstein, 1991. "The Dominant-Firm Advantage in Multiproduct Industries: Evidence from the U. S. Airlines," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1237-1266.
    5. Benoit, Kenneth, 2000. "Which Electoral Formula Is the Most Proportional? A New Look with New Evidence," Political Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 8(04), pages 381-388, July.
    6. Lyytikäinen, Teemu & Tukiainen, Janne, 2013. "Are Voters Rational?," Working Papers 50, VATT Institute for Economic Research.
    7. Hyytinen, Ari & Meriläinen, Jaakko & Saarimaa, Tuukka & Toivanen, Otto & Tukiainen, Janne, 2015. "Does Regression Discontinuity Design Work? Evidence from Random Election Outcomes," Working Papers 59, VATT Institute for Economic Research.
    8. Stefano Gagliarducci & Tommaso Nannicini, 2013. "Do Better Paid Politicians Perform Better? Disentangling Incentives From Selection," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 369-398, April.
    9. Meriläinen, Jaakko & Tukiainen, Janne, 2016. "Primary Effect in Open-List Elections," Working Papers 79, VATT Institute for Economic Research.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    electoral systems; ideological heterogeneity; party cohesion; policymotivated parties; proportional representation; regression discontinuity design; Local public finance and provision of public services; C21; C72; D02; D72;

    JEL classification:

    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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