Electoral Institutions and Intraparty Cohesion
VATT Institute for Economic Research Working Papers 109
49 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2018
Date Written: July 12, 2018
We study parties' optimal ideological cohesion across electoral rules, when the following trade-off is present: A more heterogenous set of candidates is electorally appealing (catch-all party), yet, it serves policy-related goals less efficiently. When the rule becomes more disproportional, thus inducing a more favorable seat allocation for the winner, the first effect is amplified, incentivizing parties to be less cohesive. We provide empirical support using a unique data-set that records candidates' ideological positions in Finnish municipal elections. Exploiting an exogenous change of electoral rule disproportionality at different population thresholds, we identify the causal effect of electoral rules on parties' cohesion.
Keywords: electoral systems, ideological heterogeneity, party cohesion, policymotivated parties, proportional representation, regression discontinuity design
JEL Classification: C21, C72, D02, D72
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation