The Role of Rules in Representation: Group Membership and Electoral Incentives

Brian F. Crisp, Betul Demirkaya, Leslie A. Schwindt-Bayer, Courtney Millian

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Existing research shows that the election of members of previously underrepresented groups can have significant consequences for policymaking. Yet, quotas, reserved seats, communal rolls, and race-conscious districting make it difficult to distinguish whether it is group membership, electoral incentives, or a combination of the two that matters. It is argued here that lawmakers who are members of underrepresented groups will stand out as defenders of their group's interests only when electoral rules incentivize them to do so. This is demonstrated empirically using data from New Zealand, showing that Māori Members of Parliament systematically vary in the extent to which they represent their ethnic group as a function of the three different sets of rules under which they were elected.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-67
Number of pages21
JournalBritish Journal of Political Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Cambridge University Press 2016.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Political Science and International Relations


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