Electoral Rules and Party Switching: How Legislators Prioritize Their Goals

Klein, Elad (2016) Electoral Rules and Party Switching: How Legislators Prioritize Their Goals. Legislative Studies Quarterly, 41 (3), pp. 715-738. DOI: 10.1111/lsq.12128

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Stemming from ambition theory, a vast body of studies has demonstrated how politicians' pursuits of different goals can explain their behaviors. Among other goals, politicians strive for re-election or to attain a better office. However, little is known about the way politicians prioritize these goals. This article uses the phenomenon of legislative party switching to address this void and examines how hierarchy between goals determines legislator strategies. The study exploits the 2008 Romanian electoral reform, which rendered the electoral system more candidate centered. Drawing on data from more than 3,900 individual-level observations over the period from 1996 to 2012, this article shows how vote incentives alter the trade-offs between re-election and office motivations. The findings suggest that politicians will pursue office goals only if the goal of re-election is to be achieved. (Author's abstract)

Item Type: Article in Academic Journal
Research Units: Former Research Groups (until 2017) > European Integration
Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2016 09:49
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2016 09:51
DOI: 10.1111/lsq.12128
URI: https://irihs.ihs.ac.at/id/eprint/4050

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