The Convergence Coefficient Across Political Systems

39 Pages Posted: 7 Dec 2013

See all articles by Maria E. Gallego

Maria E. Gallego

Wilfrid Laurier University

Norman J. Schofield

Washington University in St. Louis

Date Written: November 2, 2013

Abstract

Formal work on the electoral model often suggests that parties or candidates should locate themselves at the electoral mean. Recent research has found no evidence of such convergence. In order to explain non-convergence, the stochastic electoral model is extended by including estimates of electoral valence. We introduce the notion of a convergence coefficient, c. It has been shown that high values of c imply that there is a significant centrifugal tendency acting on parties. We used electoral surveys to construct a stochastic valence model of the the elections in various countries.

We find that the convergence coefficient varies across elections in a country, across countries with similar regimes and across political regimes. In some countries, the centripetal tendency leads parties to converge to the electoral mean. In others the centrifugal tendency dominates and some parties locate far from the electoral mean. In particular, for countries with proportional electoral systems, namely Israel, Turkey and Poland, the centrifugal tendency is very high. In the majoritarian polities of the United States and Great Britain, where the centrifugal tendency is very low. In anocracies, the autocrat imposes limitations on how far from the origin the opposition parties can move.

Keywords: stochastic vote model, valence, local Nash equilibrium, convergence coefficient, the heart

JEL Classification: H10

Suggested Citation

Gallego, Maria E. and Schofield, Norman J., The Convergence Coefficient Across Political Systems (November 2, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2364477 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2364477

Maria E. Gallego

Wilfrid Laurier University ( email )

75 University Ave W
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3C5
Canada

Norman J. Schofield (Contact Author)

Washington University in St. Louis ( email )

One Brookings Drive
Campus Box 1208
Saint Louis, MO MO 63104
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
14
Abstract Views
293
PlumX Metrics