Mechanical and psychological effects of electoral reform

Wednesday, 11 May 2016 - Jon H Fiva


To understand how electoral reform a ects political outcomes, one needs to assess its total e ect, incorporating how the reform a ects the outcomes given the political status quo (the mechanical e ects) and the additional reactions of political agents (the psychological e ects). We propose a framework that allows us to ascertain the relative magnitude of mechanical and various psychological e ects. The empirical approach is based on pairwise comparisons of actual and counterfactual seat allocation outcomes. We use the design to analyze a nationwide municipal electoral reform in Norway, which changed the seat allocation method from D'Hondt to Modi ed Sainte-Lagu e. We document clear psychological e ect

Fiva, Jon H. and Olle Folke. 2016. “Mechanical and psychological effects of electoral reform.” British Journal of Political Science, 46(2):265-279

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