Geographically-Targeted Spending in Mixed-Member Majoritarian Electoral Systems

Abstract:

How do governing parties use geographically-targeted spending in mixed-member majoritarian (MMM) electoral systems?  Despite being used in thirty countries, little attention has been paid to this question.  We posit that under MMM, majority-seeking parties carve out `preelectoral coordination' strategies with small parties, and once in government, use geographically-targeted spending to motivate supporters to comply with their strategy.  We extend work on preelectoral coordination by explaining why it is likely to involve the exchange of candidacies in the district tier for votes in the proportional tier, even under single-ballot MMM.  We test our propositions using municipality-level election returns and central government transfers in Japan (2003-2013) and Mexico (2012-2016).  In both cases, the dominant coalition rewarded municipalities that complied with more transfers after elections.  Our findings have broad implications for research on mixed-member systems, distributive politics, and the politics of Japan and Mexico, respectively.

Last updated on 04/12/2021