Strategic entry and strategic voting in majoritarian systems

Brian F. Crisp, Betul Demirkaya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Electoral rules impact the need for and ability of voters to coordinate around a candidate or candidates. In this paper, we examine two commonly used majoritarian electoral systems—the multiple nontransferable votes (MNTV) and single-member districts decided by plurality (SMDP). We look at strategic entry by elites and strategic voting by citizens. Coordination failures at either stage could keep teams of candidates out of office who might have otherwise been chosen to govern and could prevent voters from putting in office the candidates who would best represent them. For causal identification, we leverage the design of Brazil’s senate, where both systems are alternately used. Using a difference-in-differences approach, we find that elites do not coordinate well under SMDP but do relatively better under MNTV while voters coordinate equally (well) across both systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-71
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Politics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was funded by National Science Foundation grant SES-1227186. We wish to thank Jairo Nicolau for his help in obtaining most of the electoral results used in this paper. Additional data were obtained from the site maintained by Manuel Alvarez-Rivera. We benefited from comments by Adrián Lucardi, Dalston Ward, and other members of the Democratic Institutions Research Team (D.I.R.T.).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 by the Southern Political Science Association.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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