Literacy, Information, and Party System Fragmentation in India

Comparative Political Studies, Forthcoming

58 Pages Posted: 29 Mar 2017  

Arturas Rozenas

New York University (NYU) - Wilf Family Department of Politics

Anoop Sadanandan

Syracuse University - Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: March 28, 2017

Abstract

A rich theoretical literature argues that, in contradiction to the Duverger’s law, the plurality voting rule can fail to produce two-party system when voters do not share common information about the electoral situation. We present an empirical operationalization and a series of tests of this informational hypothesis in the case of India using constituency- and individual-level data. In highly illiterate constituencies where access to information and information-sharing among voters is low, voters often fail to coordinate on the two most viable parties. In highly literate constituencies, voters are far more successful at avoiding vote-wasting – in line with the informational hypothesis. At a micro-level, these aggregate-level patterns are driven by the interaction of individual information and the informational context: in dense informational environments, even low-information voters can successfully identify viable parties and vote for them, but in sparse informational environments, individual access to information is essential for successful strategic voting.

Keywords: strategic voting, Duverger, information, India, literacy

Suggested Citation

Rozenas, Arturas and Sadanandan, Anoop, Literacy, Information, and Party System Fragmentation in India (March 28, 2017). Comparative Political Studies, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2942263

Arturas Rozenas

New York University (NYU) - Wilf Family Department of Politics ( email )

19 West 4
New York, NY 10012
United States

Anoop Sadanandan (Contact Author)

Syracuse University - Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs ( email )

100 Eggers Hall
Syracuse, NY 13244
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.anoopsadanandan.com

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