Competing Principals? Legislative Representation in List Proportional Representation Systems

102 Pages Posted: 26 Jul 2017 Last revised: 10 Nov 2020

See all articles by Peter E. Buisseret

Peter E. Buisseret

University of Warwick - Department of Economics

Carlo Prato

Columbia University - Department of Political Science

Date Written: September 19, 2018

Abstract

We develop a new framework to study legislative representation in list proportional representation
(PR) systems. Our model studies a legislator’s incentives to balance the competing
interests of party leaders and local voters under a variety of list PR systems. We consider
open and closed lists, as well as flexible lists—in which both rank assignments and preference
votes determine the order in which seats are filled. We find that more flexibility can
worsen local representation. List flexibility also acts as a key mediator of the effect of voter
partisanship on party cohesion. And, our analysis reveals that higher district magnitude
encourages representatives to toe the party line under all ballot systems.

Keywords: Electoral Systems, Legislative Representation, List Proportional Representation

JEL Classification: D72, D78

Suggested Citation

Buisseret, Peter E. and Prato, Carlo, Competing Principals? Legislative Representation in List Proportional Representation Systems (September 19, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3007275 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3007275

Peter E. Buisseret

University of Warwick - Department of Economics ( email )

Coventry CV4 7AL
United Kingdom

Carlo Prato (Contact Author)

Columbia University - Department of Political Science ( email )

7th Floor, International Affairs Bldg.
420 W. 118th Street
New York, NY 10027
United States

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