Piolatto, Amedeo (2008): Electoral systems and the distortion of voters' preferences.
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In this paper I show that in a parliamentary democracy, contrary to common wisdom, under a proportional electoral rule governments do not necessarily represent voters' preferences better than under plurality rule. While voters affect the composition of Parliament, decisions are taken by a subset of Parliamentarians: a coalition of them decides directly and through the government. As a consequence, two distortions might occur: one at the electoral stage when Parliament is formed and the other at the coalition formation stage, when government is chosen. Through a model à la Rubinstein, I show that small parties' bargaining power increases when parties are patient; for sufficiently patient parties, the small (but pivotal) ones obtain a large bargaining power. The distortion introduced by plurality rule goes in the opposite direction; this can be beneficial (in term of voters' representativeness) as long as the impact of the two distortions is similar. I show that under non restrictive conditions, plurality rule can outperform the proportional rule in terms of representativeness of voters' preferences.
|Item Type:||MPRA Paper|
|Original Title:||Electoral systems and the distortion of voters' preferences|
|Keywords:||Electoral systems; Proportional rule; Plurality rule; Voters' representation|
|Subjects:||H - Public Economics > H1 - Structure and Scope of Government
C - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods > C7 - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory > C71 - Cooperative Games
D - Microeconomics > D7 - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making > D72 - Political Processes: Rent-Seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
P - Economic Systems > P1 - Capitalist Systems > P16 - Political Economy
|Depositing User:||Amedeo Piolatto|
|Date Deposited:||09. Jan 2009 10:39|
|Last Modified:||21. Feb 2013 02:45|
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