Electoral Rules, Strategic Entry and Polarization

27 Pages Posted: 4 Jan 2019

See all articles by Damien Bol

Damien Bol

King's College London - Department of Political Economy

Konstantinos Matakos

King's College London, Dept. of Political Economy

Orestis Troumpounis

Università di Padova; Lancaster University - Department of Economics

Dimitrios Xefteris

University of Cyprus

Date Written: December 20, 2018

Abstract

How does electoral rule disproportionality affect the structure of the party system (i.e. the number and the policy platforms of the competing parties)? By studying a model, where both party entry and platform choice are endogenous, we are able to provide a unified theory: An increasing electoral rule disproportionality exhibits: a) a first-order negative effect on platform polarization, b) a second-order negative effect on the number of parties (as polarization decreases, centrist parties are squeezed between other contenders and prefer not to enter), and c) an additional third-order negative effect on polarization via the reduction of the number of parties. We then conduct a laboratory experiment and strongly confirm the theoretical predictions of the model.

Keywords: electoral systems; proportional representation; disproportionality; strategic entry; polarization; laboratory experiment

JEL Classification: D72; C91

Suggested Citation

Bol, Damien and Matakos, Konstantinos and Troumpounis, Orestis and Xefteris, Dimitrios, Electoral Rules, Strategic Entry and Polarization (December 20, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3304543 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3304543

Damien Bol

King's College London - Department of Political Economy ( email )

Strand Campus
London, WC2R 2LS
United Kingdom

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/

Orestis Troumpounis

Università di Padova ( email )

Lancaster University - Department of Economics ( email )

Lancaster LA1 4YX, LA1 4YX
United Kingdom

Dimitrios Xefteris

University of Cyprus ( email )

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

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