Voting in Legislative Elections Under Plurality Rule

Models of single district plurality elections show that with three parties anything can happen - extreme policies can win regardless of voter preferences. I show that when single district elections are used to fill a legislature we get back to a world where the median voter matters. An extreme policy will generally only come about if it is preferred to a more moderate policy by the median voter in a majority of districts. The mere existence of a centrist party can lead to moderate outcomes even if the party itself wins few seats. Furthermore, I show that while standard single district elections always have misaligned voting i.e. some voters do not vote for their preferred choice, equilibria of the legislative election exist with no misaligned voting in any district. Finally, I show that when parties are impatient, a fixed rule on how legislative bargaining occurs will lead to more coalition governments, while uncertainty will favour single party governments.


Issue Date:
Dec 12 2015
Publication Type:
Working or Discussion Paper
Record Identifier:
http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/269728
Language:
English
Total Pages:
54
JEL Codes:
C71; C72; D71; D72; D78
Series Statement:
WERP 1097




 Record created 2018-03-21, last modified 2018-03-21

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