Electoral Rule Disproportionality and Platform Polarization

41 Pages Posted: 2 May 2013 Last revised: 2 Jun 2013

See all articles by Konstantinos Matakos

Konstantinos Matakos

King's College London, Dept. of Political Economy

Orestis Troumpounis

Università di Padova; Lancaster University - Department of Economics

Dimitrios Xefteris

University of Cyprus

Date Written: June 1, 2013

Abstract

This paper studies the effect of electoral rule disproportionality and the effect of the number of competing parties on the degree of platform polarization by the means of a unidimensional spatial model with policy motivated parties. We show that platform polarization is decreasing in the level of disproportionality of the electoral rule and increasing in the number of competing parties. By allowing parties to strategically decide whether to enter an electoral race or not we further show that the number of competing parties is decreasing in the level of disproportionality of the electoral rule. Therefore, an increase in the level of electoral rule disproportionality decreases platform polarization both directly and indirectly (through the reduction of the number of competing parties). By constructing a large and homogeneous dataset we provide empirical evidence in support of our theoretical findings; electoral rule disproportionality is the major determinant factor of the level of platform polarization while the number of competing parties has minor explanatory power (due to its dependency on the level of electoral rule disproportionality).

Keywords: proportional representation, disproportional electoral systems, polarization, policy-motivated parties, number of parties, Duvergerian predictions

Suggested Citation

Matakos, Konstantinos and Troumpounis, Orestis and Xefteris, Dimitrios, Electoral Rule Disproportionality and Platform Polarization (June 1, 2013). EPSA 2013 Annual General Conference Paper 809. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2225152

Konstantinos Matakos

King's College London, Dept. of Political Economy ( email )

Strand Campus
London, WC2R 2LS
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/kostasmatakos/

Orestis Troumpounis

Università di Padova ( email )

Lancaster University - Department of Economics ( email )

Lancaster LA1 4YX, LA1 4YX
United Kingdom

Dimitrios Xefteris (Contact Author)

University of Cyprus ( email )

75 Kallipoleos Street
P.O. Box 20537
1678 Nicosia
Cyprus

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