Incumbency as a Source of Spillover Effects in Mixed Electoral Systems: Evidence from a Regression-Discontinuity Design

Electoral Studies, Vol. 27, No. 2, pp. 213-227, June 2008

Posted: 4 Apr 2011

See all articles by Jens Hainmueller

Jens Hainmueller

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

Date Written: April 3, 2008

Abstract

In this paper we demonstrate empirically that incumbency is a source of spillover effects in Germany's mixed electoral system. Using a quasi-experimental research design that allows for causal inferences under a weaker set of assumptions than the regression models commonly used in the electoral systems literature, we find that incumbency causes a gain of 1.4-1.7 percentage points in PR vote shares. We also present simulations of Bundestag seat distributions to show that spillover effects caused by incumbency are sufficiently large to trigger significant shifts in parliamentary majorities.

Keywords: Incumbency, Mixed electoral systems, Contamination, Causal inference, Regression-discontinuity design

JEL Classification: F11

Suggested Citation

Hainmueller, Jens, Incumbency as a Source of Spillover Effects in Mixed Electoral Systems: Evidence from a Regression-Discontinuity Design (April 3, 2008). Electoral Studies, Vol. 27, No. 2, pp. 213-227, June 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1801925

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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