Plurality Rule, Proportional Representation, and the German Bundestag: How Incentives to Pork-Barrel Differ Across Electoral Systems

33 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2002

See all articles by Thomas Stratmann

Thomas Stratmann

George Mason University - Buchanan Center Political Economy; George Mason University - Mercatus Center; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Martin Baur

University of Vienna - Department of Economics

Date Written: January 2002

Abstract

This paper examines the importance of electoral rules for legislators' behavior. The German electoral system includes a mechanism which assigns whether legislators are elected under the "first-past-the-post" (FPTP), or the proportional representation (PR) electoral rule. Using this institution, we identify the effect of electoral rules on legislators' behavior and disentangle whether so-called pork barrel politics are due to political climate in a country or due to the electoral rule employed. We find significant differences in committee membership, depending on whether the legislator is elected though FPTP or PR. Legislators elected through FPTP system are members of committees that allow them to serve their geographically based constituency. Legislators elected through PR are members of committees that serve the party constituencies, which are not necessarily geographically based.

JEL Classification: D72

Suggested Citation

Stratmann, Thomas and Baur, Martin, Plurality Rule, Proportional Representation, and the German Bundestag: How Incentives to Pork-Barrel Differ Across Electoral Systems (January 2002). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=301069

Thomas Stratmann (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Buchanan Center Political Economy ( email )

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George Mason University - Mercatus Center ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://www.mercatus.org/scholars/thomas-stratmann

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

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Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Martin Baur

University of Vienna - Department of Economics

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Vienna, A-1210
Austria

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