On the Absence of Centripetal Incentives in Double-Member Districts: The Case of Chile

Comparative Political Studies, Vol. 31, No. 6, December 1998

42 Pages Posted: 29 Apr 2009

See all articles by Eric Magar

Eric Magar

Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) - Political Science Department

Marc R. Rosenblum

affiliation not provided to SSRN

David J. Samuels

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Department of Political Science

Date Written: July 15, 1997

Abstract

In its final months, the Pinochet regime engineered a number of institutional reforms with the intent of bolstering the right side of the spectrum and of promoting “centripetal” political competition once democratic procedures were reinitiated in 1989. One of the most important reforms created 60 double-member districts for elections to the lower house. While some analysts have claimed that the new system does in fact promote centrist position taking, using game theory and spatial modeling, we demonstrate in this paper that the incentives of the Chilean electoral system encourage politicians to take non-centrist positions along a left-right spectrum. The combination of double-member districts with the d’Hondt seat allocation method and open-list voting creates a “Rival Partners Game,” creating perverse incentives for Chilean candidates. Our theoretical results help clarify the debate about the effects of post-authoritarian institutional reforms in Chile and should encourage empirical research on the same issues.

Keywords: Intra-party competition, binominal electoral system, Downsian democracy

JEL Classification: C72, D72

Suggested Citation

Magar, Eric and Rosenblum, Marc R. and Samuels, David J., On the Absence of Centripetal Incentives in Double-Member Districts: The Case of Chile (July 15, 1997). Comparative Political Studies, Vol. 31, No. 6, December 1998, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1396546

Eric Magar (Contact Author)

Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) - Political Science Department ( email )

Rio Hondo 1
Col. Tizapan San-Angel
Mexico City, D.F. 01000
Mexico
525556284079 (Phone)
525554904674 (Fax)

Marc R. Rosenblum

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

David J. Samuels

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Department of Political Science ( email )

Minneapolis, MN 55455-0410
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.polisci.umn.edu/~dsamuels/

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