Party Nomination Strategies in List Proportional Representation Systems

74 Pages Posted: 25 Jul 2019 Last revised: 8 Jul 2020

See all articles by Peter E. Buisseret

Peter E. Buisseret

University of Warwick - Department of Economics

Olle Folke

Uppsala University - Department of Government

Carlo Prato

Columbia University - Department of Political Science

Johanna Karin Rickne

Stockholm University - Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI)

Date Written: July 23, 2019

Abstract

In list proportional representation (PR) systems, parties shape political selection. We propose a theory of party list choice and elections in list PR systems. Our results describe how a party allocates candidates of heterogenoeus quality across list ranks depending on (1) its electoral goals and (2) its competitive environment. We test our predictions on the universe of Swedish local politicians from 1991 to 2014. While parties assign better candidates to higher ranks at all ballot levels, the pattern is most pronounced among electorally advantaged parties, i.e., those with the strongest prospect of controlling the executive. These results contrast with existing accounts of candidate selection, which emphasize that parties prioritize candidate quality in their nomination strategies only when constrained by electoral incentives. Our results, instead, suggest that the principal demand for high-quality politicians derives from parties, rather than voters.

Keywords: Candidate Selection, Proportional Representation, Party List

JEL Classification: D72

Suggested Citation

Buisseret, Peter E. and Folke, Olle and Prato, Carlo and Rickne, Johanna Karin, Party Nomination Strategies in List Proportional Representation Systems (July 23, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3425692 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3425692

Peter E. Buisseret

University of Warwick - Department of Economics ( email )

Coventry CV4 7AL
United Kingdom

Olle Folke

Uppsala University - Department of Government ( email )

Scheelev├Ągen 15 D
SE-223 70
Lund
Sweden

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

Johanna Karin Rickne

Stockholm University - Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI) ( email )

Kyrkgatan 43B
SE-106 91 Stockholm
Sweden

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