Journal Article

Party Formation and Policy Outcomes under Different Electoral Systems

Massimo Morelli

in The Review of Economic Studies

Published on behalf of Review of Economic Studies Ltd

Volume 71, issue 3, pages 829-853
Published in print July 2004 | ISSN: 0034-6527
Published online July 2004 | e-ISSN: 1467-937X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-937X.2004.00306.x
Party Formation and Policy Outcomes under Different Electoral Systems

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I introduce a model of representative democracy with strategic parties, strategic candidates, strategic voters and multiple districts. If policy preferences are similar across districts and not too concentrated within districts, then the number of effective parties is larger under proportional representation (PR) than under plurality, and both electoral systems determine the median voter's preferred policy. However, for more asymmetric distributions of preferences the Duvergerian predictions can be reversed, and the policy outcome with PR is more moderate than the one with plurality. Sincere voting induces more party formation, and strategic voting can be observed more often under PR.

Keywords: D72

Journal Article.  14906 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Analysis of Collective Decision-making

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