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Electoral Rules and Partisan Control of Government: A Replication Study

Does the electoral system affect government partisanship? Iversen and Soskice answer this question in the affirmative. These authors argue that center-right governments dominate in majoritarian systems, whereas proportional representation systems see more center-left governments. They explain this difference by the strategic voting behavior of the middle class under alternative electoral rules. In this study, we test the robustness of their empirical results to alternative measures of the main variables as well as to a completed version of the original data set. Our replication does not corroborate Iversen and Soskice’s empirical findings. First, we cannot substantiate the notion that center-right governments emerge more frequently in majoritarian systems. Second, a time-series cross-section analysis does not support the hypothesis that the electoral system is a significant determinant of partisan control of government.