Electoral Rules, Strategic Entry and Polarization

Bol, Damien and Matakos, Konstantinos and Troumpounis, Orestis and Xefteris, Dimitrios (2019) Electoral Rules, Strategic Entry and Polarization. Journal of Public Economics, 178. ISSN 0047-2727

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How does electoral rule disproportionality affect the structure of the party system (i.e. the number and the policy platforms of the competing parties)? By studying a model where both party entry and platform choice are endogenous we are able to provide a unified theory: An increasing electoral rule disproportionality exhibits: a) a first-order negative effect on platform polarization, b) a second-order negative effect on the number of parties (as polarization decreases, centrist parties are squeezed between other contenders and prefer not to enter), and c) an additional third-order negative effect on polarization via the reduction of the number of parties. We then conduct a laboratory experiment and strongly confirm the theoretical predictions of the model.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of Public Economics
Additional Information:
This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Public Economics. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Public Economics, 178, 2019 DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2019.104065
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Deposited On:
30 Aug 2019 08:00
Last Modified:
22 Nov 2022 08:00