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Majority, proportionality, governability and factions

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  • Migheli, Matteo

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  • Ortona, Guido

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Abstract

Commonsense wisdom claims that majoritarian parliaments produce more efficient governments than proportional ones, because there are less decisors involved. Empirical evidence gives poor support to this claim. A possible explanation is that the real decisors may be not the parties, but the factions within them. We (a) assumed as factions of parties in system i the parties that provide the same government coalition in pure proportionality, (b) considered some stylized real cases, i.e. Germany, The Netherlands and Italy and (c) looked through simulation for a weight of factions such that governability is lower in FPTP than in threshold proportionality. In one case (The Netherlands) this can occur only under peculiar circumstances; in another one (Italy) it occurs for a high role of the factions, and in the last one it occurs also for a low role of the factions. Overall, our results provide support for the suggested hypothesis.

Suggested Citation

  • Migheli, Matteo & Ortona, Guido, 2009. "Majority, proportionality, governability and factions," POLIS Working Papers 122, Institute of Public Policy and Public Choice - POLIS.
  • Handle: RePEc:uca:ucapdv:122
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    File URL: http://polis.unipmn.it/pubbl/RePEc/uca/ucapdv/migheli138.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Nicola Persico & Alessandro Lizzeri, 2001. "The Provision of Public Goods under Alternative Electoral Incentives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 225-239, March.
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    3. Persson, Torsten & Roland, Gerard & Tabellini, Guido, 2007. "Electoral Rules and Government Spending in Parliamentary Democracies," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 2(2), pages 155-188, May.
    4. Stefano Gagliarducci & Tommaso Nannicini & Paolo Naticchioni, 2011. "Electoral Rules and Politicians' Behavior: A Micro Test," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 144-174, August.
    5. 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.
    6. Aidt, T.S. & Dutta, Jayasri & Loukoianova, Elena, 2006. "Democracy comes to Europe: Franchise extension and fiscal outcomes 1830-1938," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 249-283, February.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Matteo Migheli & Guido Ortona & Ferruccio Ponzano, 2014. "Competition among parties and power: an empirical analysis," Annals of Operations Research, Springer, vol. 215(1), pages 201-214, April.
    2. Matteo Migheli, 2016. "Measuring Representativeness in Different Electoral Systems, Using Italian and Dutch Data," Group Decision and Negotiation, Springer, vol. 25(4), pages 723-748, July.
    3. Bondonio, Daniele, 2009. "Impact identification strategies for evaluating business incentive programs," POLIS Working Papers 129, Institute of Public Policy and Public Choice - POLIS.
    4. Orso, Cristina Elisa, 2009. "Formal and informal sectors: Interactions between moneylenders and traditional banks in the rural Indian credit market," POLIS Working Papers 135, Institute of Public Policy and Public Choice - POLIS.
    5. Giuranno, Michele, 2009. "The logic of party coalitions with political activism and public financing," POLIS Working Papers 134, Institute of Public Policy and Public Choice - POLIS.
    6. Marchese Carla & Ramello Giovanni B., 2011. "In the Beginning Was the Word. Now is the Copyright," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 271-289, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    simulation; electoral systems; threshold proportionality; governability;

    JEL classification:

    • A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines
    • C15 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Statistical Simulation Methods: General
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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