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Plurality versus proportional electoral rule: study of voters' representativeness

  • Amedeo Piolatto

    (Universidad de Alicante)

Thinking of electoral rules, common wisdom suggests that proportional rule is more fair, since all voters are equally represented: at times, it turns out that this is false. I study the formation of both Parliament and Government; for the composition of the former I consider plurality and proportional rule; for the formation of the latter, I assume that parties play a non-cooperative game à la Rubinstein. I show that, unless parties are impatient to form a Government, proportional electoral rules translate into a more distortive distribution of power among parties than plurality rule; this happens because of the bargaining power of small parties during Government formation.

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Paper provided by Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie) in its series Working Papers. Serie AD with number 2009-14.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published by Ivie
Handle: RePEc:ivi:wpasad:2009-14
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  1. Massimo Morelli, 2004. "Party Formation and Policy Outcomes under Different Electoral Systems," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(3), pages 829-853.
  2. James M. Snyder Jr. & Michael M. Ting & Stephen Ansolabehere, 2005. "Legislative Bargaining under Weighted Voting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 981-1004, September.
  3. Amer, Rafael & Carreras, Francese & Gimenez, Jose Miguel, 2002. "The modified Banzhaf value for games with coalition structure: an axiomatic characterization," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 45-54, January.
  4. Ariel Rubinstein, 2010. "Perfect Equilibrium in a Bargaining Model," Levine's Working Paper Archive 661465000000000387, David K. Levine.
  5. Emmanuelle Auriol & Robert Gary-Bobo, 2012. "On the optimal number of representatives," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 153(3), pages 419-445, December.
  6. David P. Baron & Daniel Diermeier, 2001. "Elections, Governments, And Parliaments In Proportional Representation Systems," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(3), pages 933-967, August.
  7. 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.
  8. Daniel Diermeier & Hulya Eraslan & Antonio Merlo, 2002. "Bicameralism and Government Formation, Second Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 07-010, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 01 Feb 2007.
  9. Bandyopadhyay, Siddhartha & Oak, Mandar P., 2008. "Coalition governments in a model of parliamentary democracy," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 554-561, September.
  10. Antonio Merlo & Daniel Diermeier & Hülya Eraslan, 2004. "Bicameralism and Government Formation," Working Papers 2004.81, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  11. Harald Wiese, 2007. "Measuring The Power Of Parties Within Government Coalitions," International Game Theory Review (IGTR), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 9(02), pages 307-322.
  12. Daniel Diermeier & Antoni Merlo, 1999. "An Empirical Investigation of Coalitional Bargaining Procedures," Discussion Papers 1267, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  13. Norman Schofield, 1986. "Existence of a ‘structurally stable’ equilibrium for a non-collegial voting rule," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 51(3), pages 267-284, January.
  14. Tasos Kalandrakis, 2004. "Proposal Rights and Political Power," Wallis Working Papers WP38, University of Rochester - Wallis Institute of Political Economy.
  15. Banks, Jeffrey S. & Duggan, John, 1999. "A Bargaining Model of Collective Choice," Working Papers 1053, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
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