Party Formation and Policy Outcomes Under Different Electoral Systems
34 Pages Posted: 13 Jan 1999
Date Written: September 1998
This paper provides a game-theoretic model of representative democracy with endogenous party formation. Coalition formation may occur before and after elections, and the expected payoffs from the after-election majority game affect incentives to form parties before the elections. In this way Duverger's hypothesis can be formally explained by the strategic behaviour of political elites. If politicians care primarily about private benefits, the equilibrium policy outcome under a proportional electoral system coincides with the median party's position. On the other hand, with quasilinear utility, the distance from the median voter outcome may be lower with plurality rule.
JEL Classification: C7, D72
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation