Electoral institutions and the politics of coalitions: Why some democracies redistribute more than others

Published

Journal Article

Standard political economy models of redistribution, notably that of Meltzer and Richard (1981), fail to account for the remarkable variance in government redistribution across democracies. We develop a general model of redistribution that explains why some democratic governments are more prone to redistribute than others. We show that the electoral system plays a key role because it shapes the nature of political parties and the composition of governing coalitions, hence redistribution. Our argument implies (1) that center-left governments dominate under PR systems, whereas center-right governments dominate under majoritarian systems; and (2) that PR systems redistribute more than majoritarian systems. We test our argument on panel data for redistribution, government partisanship, and electoral system in advanced democracies.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Iversen, T; Soskice, D

Published Date

  • March 1, 2006

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 100 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 165 - 181

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1537-5943

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0003-0554

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1136/bmj.332.7534.165

Citation Source

  • Scopus