Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2108028
 


 



District Medians and Median Districts: Electoral Adaptation in Post 1994 Japan


Frances McCall Rosenbluth


Yale University - Department of Political Science

Mathew D. McCubbins


Duke University

Kyohei Yamada


International University of Japan - Graduate School of International Relations

August 22, 2012

APSA 2012 Annual Meeting Paper

Abstract:     
There is considerable evidence supporting the prediction of spatial models of politics that parties adapt to electoral rules. But as in economic markets, adaptation can occur either when parties behave strategically in the face of new incentives, or when electoral competition at the district level weeds out maladapted candidates, creating more optimal party configurations from the bottom up. Although both processes can happen simultaneously, top-down strategic adaptation is easier when districts occupied by party incumbents are internally heterogeneous with respect to voter preferences and the range of preferences is similar across districts. Conversely, parties are hard to manage when their districts are internally homogeneous but different from one another. Following electoral rule change in 1994, an incumbency cartel within the long-dominant Liberal Democratic Party slowed down but did not stop the Party’s move to the national median. Electoral competition is apparently pushing both parties towards a left-right continuum as they orient themselves around urban swing districts. This adaptation gives business cycles a larger role in Japanese electoral politics than ever before.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 35

Keywords: electoral adaptation, median voter, median district, electoral competition, business cycles

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Date posted: July 15, 2012 ; Last revised: August 25, 2012

Suggested Citation

Rosenbluth, Frances McCall and McCubbins, Mathew D. and Yamada, Kyohei, District Medians and Median Districts: Electoral Adaptation in Post 1994 Japan (August 22, 2012). APSA 2012 Annual Meeting Paper. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2108028

Contact Information

Frances McCall Rosenbluth (Contact Author)
Yale University - Department of Political Science ( email )
Box 208269
New Haven, DC 06520-8269
United States
203-432-5256 (Phone)
Mathew D. McCubbins
Duke University ( email )
Department of Political Science
208 Gross Hall, 140 Science Drive
Durham, NC 27708
United States
(213) 973-7538 (Phone)
(213) 973-3623 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://mccubbins.us
Kyohei Yamada
International University of Japan - Graduate School of International Relations ( email )
777 Kokusai-Cho
Minami Uonuma Shi, Niigata-ken 949-7277
Japan
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