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Party Systems and Quality of Democracy: An Instrumental Variable Approach (Political Behaviour Colloquium)

  Add to Calendar 2019-12-10 17:15 2019-12-10 19:00 Europe/Paris Party Systems and Quality of Democracy: An Instrumental Variable Approach (Political Behaviour Colloquium)

Does party system fragmentation affect the quality of democracy? Providing causal evidence to answer this question is difficult because the characteristics of the party system are endogenous to many other dynamics in a polity. We overcome this issue by putting forward an instrument for the number of parties in a system, based on the added level of frag- mentation by parties that narrowly make it to parliament. Drawing upon a large battery of outcomes, we find that higher number of parties leads to more fractionalized governments, but it has no impact on democratic outcomes. The null effect persists after using a large number of different model specifications. We also find no evidence that polarization acts as a moderator of this relation. While parties are crucial actors in democratic systems, the characteristics of the party system seem to have no independent effect on democratic outcomes.

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Does party system fragmentation affect the quality of democracy? Providing causal evidence to answer this question is difficult because the characteristics of the party system are endogenous to many other dynamics in a polity. We overcome this issue by putting forward an instrument for the number of parties in a system, based on the added level of frag- mentation by parties that narrowly make it to parliament. Drawing upon a large battery of outcomes, we find that higher number of parties leads to more fractionalized governments, but it has no impact on democratic outcomes. The null effect persists after using a large number of different model specifications. We also find no evidence that polarization acts as a moderator of this relation. While parties are crucial actors in democratic systems, the characteristics of the party system seem to have no independent effect on democratic outcomes.


Location:
-

Affiliation:
Department of Political and Social Sciences

Type:
Working group

Contact:
SPS Researcher Emma Hoes (EUI) - Send a mail
Francesco Colombo - Send a mail

Speaker:
Valentim Vicente (EUI - Department of Political and Social Sciences)

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