2013

Is There an Incumbency Advantage or Cost of Ruling in Proportional Election Systems?

Reprint No. 2013:11

Author(s): Che-Yuan LiangYear: 2013 Title: Public Choice Volume (No.): 154 (3-4) Pages: 259–284
Online article (restrictions may apply)


This paper investigates the effects of political representation on electoral outcomes at the party and coalition levels in proportional election systems using data from Swedish local government elections. There are two notions of representation, namely, to hold seats and to belong to the ruling coalition. I refer to the effect of the former as the incumbency effect and the effect of the latter as the ruling effect. The discontinuous variation in the seat share as the vote share varies for parties is used to isolate exogenous variation in incumbency. The discontinuous variation in ruling at the 50% seat share cutoff for coalitions is used in order to exogenous variation in ruling. I find that incumbency determines the distribution of 12% of the total vote, which is similar to the advantage found in majoritarian systems. I find no ruling effect, contrary to the commonly found cost of ruling in proportional systems.
 


Reference:
Liang, Che-Yuan (2013), "Is There an Incumbency Advantage or Cost of Ruling in Proportional Election Systems?". Public Choice 154(3-4), 259–284.

Interdisciplinary European Studies

The European Union and the Return of the Nation State

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This book explores the complex and ever-changing relationship between the European Union and its member states. The recent surge in tension in this relationship has been prompted by the actions of some member state governments as they question fundamental EU values and principles and refuse to implement common decisions seemingly on the basis of narrowly defined national interests.

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