The Best at the Top? Candidate Ranking Strategies Under Closed List Proportional Representation

Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper 2021-039/VII

26 Pages Posted: 11 May 2021

See all articles by Benoît S. Y. Crutzen

Benoît S. Y. Crutzen

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Department of Economics

Hideo Konishi

Boston College - Department of Economics

Nicolas Sahuguet

HEC Montreal - Institute of Applied Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 21, 2021

Abstract

Under closed-list proportional representation, a party's electoral list determines the order in which legislative seats are allocated to candidates. When candidates differ in their ability, parties face a trade-off between competence and incentives. Ranking candidates in decreasing order of competence ensures that elected politicians are most competent. Yet, party lists create incentives for candidates that may push parties not to rank candidates in decreasing competence order. We examine this trade-off in a game-theoretical model in which parties rank their candidate on a list, candidates choose their campaign effort, and the election is a team contest for multiple prizes. We show that the trade-off between competence and incentives depends on candidates’' objective and the electoral environment. In particular, parties rank candidates in decreasing order of competence if candidates value enough post-electoral high offices or media coverage focuses on candidates at the top of the list.

JEL Classification: D72, C72

Suggested Citation

Crutzen, Benoît S. Y. and Konishi, Hideo and Sahuguet, Nicolas, The Best at the Top? Candidate Ranking Strategies Under Closed List Proportional Representation (April 21, 2021). Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper 2021-039/VII, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3842951 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3842951

Benoît S. Y. Crutzen (Contact Author)

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

Hideo Konishi

Boston College - Department of Economics ( email )

140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
United States
617-552-1209 (Phone)
617-552-2308 (Fax)

Nicolas Sahuguet

HEC Montreal - Institute of Applied Economics ( email )

3000, ch. de la Côte-Ste-Catherine
Montréal, Quebec H3T 2A7
Canada

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