A preliminary simulative assessment of disproportionality indices
What do indices of disproportionality actually measure? They provide an aggregate estimation of the difference between votes cast and seats assignment, but the relation between the value of the indices and the will of the voters is highly questionable. The reason is that when casting the vote the voter is deeply affected by the electoral system itself, possibly more deeply than s/he understands. The aim of this paper is to assess the performance of the most used indices of disproportionality with respect to the will of voters. To do so we compare by simulation their performance in some major electoral systems and with reference to some stylised typical cases. We use as a benchmark a "true" index, i.e. an index that measures the difference between the will of the voters (instead of the votes) and the assignment of seats. In our experiment all the indices considered perform poorly, with the unexpected exception of the Loosemore-Hanby index.
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- Loosemore, John & Hanby, Victor J., 1971. "The Theoretical Limits of Maximum Distortion: Some Analytic Expressions for Electoral Systems," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(04), pages 467-477, October.
- Bissey, Marie-Edith & Ortona, Guido, 2007. "The program for the simulation of electoral systems ALEX4.1: what it does and how to use it," POLIS Working Papers 82, Institute of Public Policy and Public Choice - POLIS.
- Vani K. Borooah, 2002. "The Proportionality of Electoral Systems: Electoral Welfare and Electoral Inequality," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(1), pages 83-98.
- Stefania Ottone & Ferrucio Ponzano & Roberto Ricciuti, 2009.
"Simulating Voting Rule Reforms for the Italian Parliament: An Economic Perspective,"
Czech Economic Review,
Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, vol. 3(3), pages 292-304, October.
- Ottone, Stefania & Ponzano, Ferruccio & Ricciuti, Roberto, 2007. "Simulating voting rule reforms for the Italian parliament. An economic perspective," POLIS Working Papers 88, Institute of Public Policy and Public Choice - POLIS.
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