Ideological Extremism, Branding, and Electoral Design: Multimember versus Single-Member Districts

37 Pages Posted: 11 Jun 2008

See all articles by Anthony M. Bertelli

Anthony M. Bertelli

New York University - Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service; Bocconi University - DONDENA - Carlo F. Dondena Centre for Research on Social Dynamics

Lilliard E. Richardson

Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) - School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA)

Date Written: 2008

Abstract

Relying on a formal theoretical model, Cox (1984; 1990a; 1990b; 1997) demonstrates that single member districts induce candidates toward policy positions at their constituency median while multimember districts encourage dispersion. We test this theoretical implication in the context of the Arizona state legislature, in which each legislative district chooses one senator and two representatives in single member and multimember contests respectively. To do so, we generate W-NOMINATE estimates based on roll-call data from the Arizona state legislature that are comparable across chambers (Senate and House). Our results are substantially less supportive of the formal theory than are those of prior studies.

Keywords: electoral systems, roll-call voting, ideology, extremism, quantile regression

JEL Classification: H11

Suggested Citation

Bertelli, Anthony M. and Richardson, Lilliard E., Ideological Extremism, Branding, and Electoral Design: Multimember versus Single-Member Districts (2008). Public Choice, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1143474

Anthony M. Bertelli (Contact Author)

New York University - Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service ( email )

The Puck Building
295 Lafayette Street, Second Floor
New York, NY 10012
United States

Bocconi University - DONDENA - Carlo F. Dondena Centre for Research on Social Dynamics ( email )

Via Roentgen 1
Milan, 20136
Italy

Lilliard E. Richardson

Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) - School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) ( email )

1315 East Tenth Street
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

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