Strategic Electoral Rule Choice Under Uncertainty
42 Pages Posted: 9 Dec 2014
Date Written: December 8, 2014
We study electoral rule choice in a multi-party model with office-motivated parties and electoral outcome uncertainty. We show that when all dominant parties (parties with positive probability of winning the elections) have sufficiently good chances of winning, they agree to change the PR-rule with a more majoritarian one in order to increase their chances of forming a single-party government. We identify the exact degree of disproportionality of the new rule and we prove that it is increasing in the expected vote share of the smaller parties (parties with zero probability of winning). The necessary and sufficient conditions for such collusion in favor of a majoritarian rule are: a) the high rents from a single-party government, b) sufficient uncertainty over the electoral outcome. Our theoretical predictions regarding the degree of the disproportionality of the electoral rule are supported by empirical evidence.
Keywords: electoral rules, disproportionality, seat premium, single-party government, uncertainty, strategic coordination
JEL Classification: D02, D72, H10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation