Strategic Electoral Rule Choice Under Uncertainty

42 Pages Posted: 9 Dec 2014

See all articles by Konstantinos Matakos

Konstantinos Matakos

King's College London, Dept. of Political Economy

Dimitrios Xefteris

University of Cyprus

Date Written: December 8, 2014

Abstract

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

Matakos, Konstantinos and Xefteris, Dimitrios, Strategic Electoral Rule Choice Under Uncertainty (December 8, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2535361 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2535361

Konstantinos Matakos (Contact Author)

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/

Dimitrios Xefteris

University of Cyprus ( email )

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

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