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Electoral rules: Electoral rules are the set of guidelines that govern the electoral process, outlining who can vote, how votes are cast and counted, and how election results are determined. See also Political Elections, Electoral Systems.
Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

Constitutional Economics on Electoral Rules - Dictionary of Arguments

Parisi I 206
Electoral Rules/Constitutional economics/Voigt: Electoral rules refer to the way votes translate into parliamentary seats: under majority rule (also called plurality or first-past-the-post), only the candidate who secured the most votes in a district is elected. Under proportional representation, parties are allocated seats according to the proportion of votes they obtain.
Electoral systems include more dimensions than electoral rules, in particular district size and ballot structure.
District size refers to the number of parliamentarians sent from one district.
The ballot structure determines whether citizens can vote only for a party, only for individuals, or some combination thereof. Although theoretically distinct, these dimensions are highly correlated empirically: countries using majority rule (MR) often have minimum district size (single-member districts) and allow voting for individual candidates.
Proportional rule: Countries relying on proportional representation (PR) often have large districts and restrict the possibility of deviating from party lists.
Political parties: It has been known for many years that electoral rules can have a crucial effect on the number of parties. Duverger's (1954)(1) observations that MR is conducive to two-party systems, whereas more parties are apt to arise under PR, has even been called "Duverger's law." The analysis of the economic consequences of electoral systems is of a more recent vintage.
Political coalitions: It has been argued (Austen-Smith, 2000)(2) that since coalition governments are more likely under PR than under MR, a common pool problem among governing parties will emerge. Parties participating in the coalition will want to please different constituents, which explains why both government spending and tax rates are, on average, higher under PR than under
Government spending: Lizzeri and Persico (2001)(3) compare the composition of government spending under alternative electoral rules. They distinguish between
a) the provision of a genuine public good on the one hand, and
b) pork-barrel projects that serve to re- distribute wealth on the other, and ask whether incentives to provide these goods differ systematically between MR and PR.
Under MR, politicians have an incentive to cater to those who can help them obtain a plurality of the votes and they will do so by promising pork barrel projects.
Under PR, on the other hand, targeting makes less sense because every vote counts, leading politicians to provide more general public goods. >Constitutional Economics/Tabellini/Persson
, >Governmental structures/Constitutional economics, >Direct Democracy/Constitutional economics.

1. Duverger, M. (1954). Political Parties: Their Organization and Activity in the Modern State.
New York: Wiley.
2. Austen-Smith, D. (2000). "Redistributing Income under Proportional Representation."
Journal of Political Economy 108(6): 1235-1269.
3. Lizzeri, A. and N. Persico (2001). "The Provision of Public Goods Under Alternative Electoral Incentives." American Economic Review 91(1): 225—239.

Voigt, Stefan, “Constitutional Economics and the Law”. In: Parisi, Francesco (ed) (2017). The Oxford Handbook of Law and Economics. Vol 1: Methodology and Concepts. NY: Oxford University

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Constitutional Economics
Parisi I
Francesco Parisi (Ed)
The Oxford Handbook of Law and Economics: Volume 1: Methodology and Concepts New York 2017

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