Strategic Voting in Proportional Systems: The Case of Finland

Gschwend, Thomas and Stoiber, Michael (August 2014) Strategic Voting in Proportional Systems: The Case of Finland. Former Series > Working Paper Series > IHS Political Science Series 138

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Voters try to avoid wasting their votes even in PR systems. In this paper we make a case that this type of strategic voting can be observed and predicted even in PR systems. Contrary to the literature we do not see weak institutional incentive structures as indicative of a hopeless endeavor for studying strategic voting. The crucial question for strategic voting is how institutional incentives constrain an individual’s decision-making process. Based on expected utility maximization we put forward a micro-logic of an individual’s expectation formation process driven by institutional and dispositional incentives. All well-known institutional incentives to vote strategically that get channelled through the district magnitude are moderated by dispositional factors in order to become relevant for voting decisions. Employing data from Finland – because of its electoral system a particularly hard testing ground - we find considerable evidence for observable implications of our theory.

Item Type: IHS Series
Keywords: Strategic voting, PR systems, micro-logic, expectation formation, Finland, institutional incentives, dispositional incentives
Date Deposited: 02 Oct 2014 12:12
Last Modified: 03 May 2024 11:01

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