Electoral Rules, Career Ambitions and Party Structure: Comparing Factions in Japan's Upper and Lower Houses

24 Pages Posted: 14 Jul 2008

See all articles by Gary W. Cox

Gary W. Cox

Stanford University

Frances McCall Rosenbluth

Yale University - Department of Political Science

Michael F. Thies

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Political Science

Date Written: June 1999

Abstract

We argue that the incentive for a Japanese politician to join a faction is a function of the extent to which her career goals require factional assistance. The two houses of Japan's bicameral national parliament use different electoral rules but face the same cultural and socioeconomic factors. Moreover, the Upper House rules vary both cross-sectionally and cross-temporally. Taking advantage of this "natural experiment," we derive and test six specific hypotheses. Our most robust findings are that the rate of factional affiliation varies directly with the level of intraparty competition induced by these different regimes, and that Upper House members with cabinet experience are more likely to be factionally affiliated than those without. We also find that smaller factions died out sooner in the Upper House, and that the distribution of factional strengths was more skewed there.

Suggested Citation

Cox, Gary W. and Rosenbluth, Frances McCall and Thies, Michael F., Electoral Rules, Career Ambitions and Party Structure: Comparing Factions in Japan's Upper and Lower Houses (June 1999). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1158804 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1158804

Gary W. Cox

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States
650-723-4278 (Phone)

Frances McCall Rosenbluth

Yale University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Box 208269
New Haven, DC 06520-8269
United States
203-432-5256 (Phone)

Michael F. Thies (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Political Science ( email )

405 Hilgard Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1472
United States
310-825-1976 (Phone)
310-825-0778 (Fax)

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