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Electoral Systems and Inequalities in Government Interventions

Garance Genicot ⓡ, Laurent Bouton ⓡ, Micael Castanheira ⓡ

NBER Working Paper No. 25205
Issued in October 2018
NBER Program(s):Political Economy

This paper studies the political determinants of inequality in government interventions under the majoritarian and proportional representation systems. Using a model of electoral competition with targetable government intervention and heterogeneous localities, we uncover a novel relative electoral sensitivity effect in majoritarian systems. This effect, which depends on the geographic distribution of voters, can incentivize parties to allocate resources more equally under majoritarian systems than proportional representation systems. This contrasts with the conventional wisdom that government interventions are more unequal in majoritarian systems.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w25205

 
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