Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/128462
Authors: 
Ferris, J Stephen
Winer, Stanley L.
Grofman, Bernard
Year of Publication: 
2016
Series/Report no.: 
CESifo Working Paper 5752
Abstract: 
We combine Duverger’s Law (1954) with Demsetz’s (1968) theory of natural monopoly to provide a novel perspective on electoral competitiveness in a single member district, plurality rule system. In the framework we develop, competitiveness depends on the contestability of elections, which declines as party fragmentation exceeds the long run level predicted by Duverger’s Law. We provide support for this Duverger-Demsetz perspective by studying the relationship between the concentration of vote shares and a new index of electoral contestability over the history of the Canadian parliamentary system from 1867. Extension of the argument to proportional electoral systems is also considered.
Subjects: 
electoral competition
economic competition
contestability
volatility adjusted vote margin
safe seats
marginal seats
Duverger
Demsetz
JEL: 
D70
D40
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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