Department of Economics and Business Economics

Election rules, legislators’ incentives, and policy outcomes: Evidence from the mixed member system in Germany

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Committee membership in mixed-member systems presents an informative setting for studying legislators’ behavior under majoritarian vs. proportional electoral incentives. Committee membership allows for a determination as to whether legislators sort themselves into committees that are more consistent with an objective to win the next election in their electoral district, or more consistent with gaining a more prestigious position in their party. Using data from three large German states, we find that legislators elected in the electoral system's majoritarian tier more often become members of “district committees,” i.e., committees that might give politicians greater opportunity than others to obtain government funds for the benefit of their home districts. This effect is strongest for legislators who won district elections by narrow margins. Moreover, we find that districts that are better represented on “district committees” receive more government funds.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Political Economy
Pages (from-to)227-239
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2018

    Research areas

  • committees, Comparative political economy, Electoral rules, Mixed-member system, transfers

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