Electoral Balancing, Divided Government, and Midterm Loss in German State Elections

Journal of Legislative Studies, Vol. 12, No. 2, pp.127-149, June 2006

Posted: 4 Apr 2011

See all articles by Holger L. Kern

Holger L. Kern

Florida State University - Department of Political Science

Jens Hainmueller

Stanford University - Department of Political Science; Stanford Graduate School of Business; Stanford Immigration Policy Lab

Date Written: January 1, 2006

Abstract

This paper takes a fresh look at the midterm loss in German elections and argues that government type is a crucial determinant of midterm loss. Using panel regressions on a newly compiled data set covering all state elections during the period 1949-2004, we find that systematic midterm losses occur only when both chambers of the federal legislature (Bundestag and Bundesrat) are controlled by one party or a party coalition. Prior research has failed to discover this important regularity. These findings lend strong support to electoral balancing models while calling into doubt more traditional explanations of midterm loss.

Keywords: midterm loss, electoral balancing

Suggested Citation

Kern, Holger L. and Hainmueller, Jens, Electoral Balancing, Divided Government, and Midterm Loss in German State Elections (January 1, 2006). Journal of Legislative Studies, Vol. 12, No. 2, pp.127-149, June 2006. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1801923

Holger L. Kern

Florida State University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Tallahassee, FL 30306
United States

Jens Hainmueller (Contact Author)

Stanford University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.stanford.edu/~jhain/

Stanford Graduate School of Business ( email )

655 Knight Way
Stanford, CA 94305-5015
United States

Stanford Immigration Policy Lab

30 Alta Road
Stanford, CA 94305
United States

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