A Dynamic Duverger's Law
Electoral systems promote strategic voting and affect party systems. Duverger (1951) proposed that plurality rule leads to bi-partyism and proportional representation leads to multi-partyism. We show that in a dynamic setting, these static effects also lead to a higher option value for existing minor parties under plurality rule, so their incentive to exit the party system is mitigated by their future benefits from continued participation. The predictions of our model are consistent with multiple cross-sectional predictions on the comparative number of parties under plurality rule and proportional representation. In particular, there could be more parties under plurality rule than under proportional representation at any point in time. However, our model makes a unique time-series prediction: the number of parties under plurality rule should be less variable than under proportional representation. We provide extensive empirical evidence in support of these results.
|Date of creation:||Oct 2013|
|Date of revision:||Sep 2015|
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- Herrera, Helios; Morelli, Massimo, 2010.
"Turnout and Power Sharing,"
Economics Working Papers
ECO2010/12, European University Institute.
- Morelli, Massimo, 1998.
"Party Formation and Policy Outcomes Under Different Electoral Systems,"
Staff General Research Papers Archive
1242, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
- 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.
- Massimo Morelli, 2001. "Party Formation and Policy Outcomes under Different Electoral Systems," Economics Working Papers 0018, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
- Blais, André & Carty, R. K., 1991. "The Psychological Impact of Electoral Laws: Measuring Duverger's Elusive Factor," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 21(01), pages 79-93, January.
- Fujiwara, Thomas, 2011. "A Regression Discontinuity Test of Strategic Voting and Duverger's Law," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 6(3–4), pages 197-233, November.
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