Type
Article
Titre
Responsiveness and Democratic Accountability: Observational Evidence from an Experiment in a Mixed-Member Proportional System
Dans
Legislative Studies Quarterly
Auteur(s)
BREUNIG Christian - Universität Konstanz (Auteur)
GROSSMAN Emiliano - Centre d'études européennes et de politique comparée (Auteur)
HÄNNI Miriam - (Auteur)
Pages
undefined - Online p.
Mots clés
electoral systems, responsiveness, representation, Germany
Résumé
EN
Electoral systems provide distinctive accountability mechanisms in democratic polities and thereby affect government responsiveness to citizens. In this article, we concentrate on the effects of proportional vis-à-vis majoritarian electoral rules. We expect members of parliament to be more responsive under majoritarian rule, because these MPs have a direct mandate from their local constituency, are less dependent on their party, and can be held directly accountable by voters. We exploit Germany's mixed-member system and test MP’s responsiveness using behavioral data generated within a two-round field experiment. The experiment observes concrete interactions between voters and representatives. In the experiment, real voters sent emails about a policy issue to their MPs. We show that MPs who were elected via the majoritarian tier are almost twice as likely to respond to a voter request than MPs elected via PR. Our results deliver novel evidence that electoral institutions cause distinct behavioral responses from elected officials.

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