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Mapping the theory of political representation to the empirics : An investigation for proportional and majoritarian rules

Title data

Stadelmann, David ; Torrens, Gustavo ; Portmann, Marco:
Mapping the theory of political representation to the empirics : An investigation for proportional and majoritarian rules.
In: Journal of Comparative Economics. Vol. 48 (2020) Issue 3 . - pp. 548-560.
ISSN 0147-5967
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jce.2019.11.002

Abstract in another language

We combine roll call votes and referendum decisions on identically worded legislative proposals to identify the effect of electoral rules on the way Swiss Members of Parliament (MPs) represent their constituents’ preferences. We exploit the fact that MPs in both Houses of Parliament are elected in the same electoral districts (the cantons). Yet, in the Lower House, MPs are elected using a proportional rule, while in the Upper House they are elected employing a majoritarian rule. We find that electoral rules matter strongly for political representation. The voting patterns of MPs are fully in line with three theoretical predictions regarding the influence of electoral rules on representation of constituents’ preferences: 1) The probability that a proportional-elected MP accepts a legislative proposal closely follows the share of voters that accept the proposal in the referendum. 2) In contrast, for majority-elected MPs the probability of acceptance is strongly increasing in the share of voter acceptance if the latter is close to the 50% threshold. 3) The estimated probability that an Upper House MP votes “yes” as a function of the share of voters voting “yes” in the referendum has an S-shape form with an inflection point close to 50%.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Electoral rules; Voting; Political representation; Behavior of politicians
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Law, Business and Economics > Department of Economics
Faculties > Faculty of Law, Business and Economics > Department of Economics > Professor Economics with a focus on development economics
Faculties > Faculty of Law, Business and Economics > Department of Economics > Professor Economics with a focus on development economics > Professor Economics with a focus on development economics - Univ.-Prof. Dr. David Stadelmann
Profile Fields > Emerging Fields > Governance and Responsibility
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 300 Social sciences > 330 Economics
Date Deposited: 11 Nov 2020 07:50
Last Modified: 11 Nov 2020 07:50
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/59325