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

Pennsylvania State University; Institut Barcelona d'Estudis Internacionals - IBEI

Lilliard Richardson

Penn State School of Public Policy

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, 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)

Pennsylvania State University ( email )

University Park, PA 16802-3306
United States

HOME PAGE: http://tonybertelli.com

Institut Barcelona d'Estudis Internacionals - IBEI ( email )

Ramon Trias Fargas 25-27
Barcelona, Barcelona 08005
Spain

Lilliard Richardson

Penn State School of Public Policy ( email )

University Park
State College, PA 16802
United States

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