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Electoral Systems and the Balance of Consumer-Producer Power

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Part of Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics

  • Date Published: November 2010
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521138154

$ 24.99 (P)

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About the Authors
  • This book investigates the effects of electoral systems on the relative legislative and, hence, regulatory influence of competing interests in society. Building on Ronald Rogowski and Mark Andreas Kayser’s extension of the classic Stigler-Peltzman model of regulation, the authors demonstrate that majoritarian electoral arrangements should empower consumers relative to producers. Employing real price levels as a proxy for consumer power, the book rigorously establishes this proposition over time, within the OECD, and across a large sample of developing countries. Majoritarian electoral arrangements depress real prices by approximately ten percent, all else equal. The authors carefully construct and test their argument and broaden it to consider the overall welfare effects of electoral system design and the incentives of actors in the choice of electoral institutions.

    • Original and important finding relevant to political science, economics, policy and law
    • Theoretically (formally) developed
    • Rigorously tested (empirically)
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    Reviews & endorsements

    “Government policies create winners and losers. A central question in both politics and political science is how the political system affects who wins and who loses from the battle over policy. In Electoral Systems and the Balance of Consumer-Producer Power, four leading scholars assess the impact of electoral structures on one crucial dimension of this distributional conflict, between consumers and producers. They present a forceful, theoretically grounded, argument that majoritarian systems tend to favor consumers. They go on to provide persuasive evidence, across dozens of countries, that this pro-consumer bias is reflected in relative prices. This elegant, powerful, book will be essential reading for all students of Comparative Politics and Political Economy.”
    —Jeffry Frieden, Harvard University

    “This terrific book argues that economic policy's general pro-consumer versus pro-producer tendency hinges crucially on the electoral system. The argument is rigorously developed and tested while remaining eminently accessible to general readers. It is a ‘must read’ for political economists and indeed anyone interested in seeing a wonderful example of social science done well.”
    —Michael J. Gilligan, New York University

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2010
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521138154
    • length: 280 pages
    • dimensions: 215 x 139 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.38kg
    • contains: 27 b/w illus. 9 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Electoral systems and consumer power: theoretical considerations
    3. Electoral systems and real prices: panel evidence for the OECD countries
    4. Electoral systems and real prices around the world
    5. A closer look: case studies and mechanisms
    6. Socio-economic origins of electoral systems
    7. Discussion and conclusion.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Comparative Government and Society
  • Authors

    Eric C. C. Chang, Michigan State University
    Eric C. C. Chang received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2003 and is Associate Professor of Political Science at Michigan State University. He studies comparative political economy, political institutions, political corruption, and democratization in developed and developing democracies. His research uses formal theory and quantitative methodology to analyze substantive political and economic phenomena. His article 'Electoral Systems, District Magnitude and Corruption', co-authored with Miriam Golden, won the 2008 Lawrence Longley Award, given by the American Political Science Association's Organized Section in Representation and Electoral Systems. His publications have also appeared in the Journal of Politics, the British Journal of Political Science, World Politics, Comparative Political Studies, and the European Journal of Political Research.

    Mark Andreas Kayser, Hertie School of Governance, Berlin
    Mark Andreas Kayser is Professor of Applied Quantitative Methods and Comparative Politics at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin. His research focuses on the comparative and international political economy of elections, with an emphasis on domestic political institutions, electoral behavior, redistribution, and political intervention in the economy. He earned his Ph.D. in 2002 from UCLA. He has served as a postdoctoral Prize Research Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford, and as Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Rochester. He is the author or co-author of articles on opportunistic election timing, political business cycles, the electoral effects of international business cycles, and the relationship between globalization and electoral politics. His work has appeared in the American Journal of Political Science, the American Political Science Review, the Annual Review of Political Science, the British Journal of Political Science, and the European Journal of Political Research.

    Drew A. Linzer, Emory University
    Drew A. Linzer is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Emory University. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from UCLA in 2008. His research explores patterns of public opinion and voting behavior in democracies around the world, and their consequences for political representation and quality of governance. He also specializes in applied statistical methodology for analyzing social scientific data. His work has appeared in journals including the Journal of Politics, World Politics, Political Analysis and the Journal of Statistical Software. Professor Linzer is also a co-creator of poLCA, a software package for the estimation of latent class models in the R statistical computing environment. He was previously a professional survey researcher with firms in Washington DC, Palo Alto and Santa Monica.

    Ronald Rogowski, University of California, Los Angeles
    Ronald Rogowski is Professor of Political Science at UCLA. His book, Commerce and Coalitions, received the American Political Science Association's prize for best book in political economy. He is a former member of the National Science Foundation's Political Science Panel and a current member of the European Research Council Social Sciences Panel. He has given invited lectures at Bologna, Budapest, Barcelona, Konstanz, Mannheim and the Berlin Science Center (WZB) and is currently lead editor of the American Political Science Review.

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