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Plurality Rule, Proportional Representation, and the German Bundestag: How Incentives to Pork-Barrel Differ across Electoral Systems

Thomas Stratmann and Martin Baur
American Journal of Political Science
Vol. 46, No. 3 (Jul., 2002), pp. 506-514
DOI: 10.2307/3088395
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3088395
Page Count: 9
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Plurality Rule, Proportional Representation, and the German Bundestag: How Incentives to Pork-Barrel Differ across Electoral Systems
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Abstract

This article examines the importance of electoral rules for legislators' behavior. The German electoral system includes a mechanism which assigns whether legislators are elected under the "first-past-the-post" (FPTP), or the proportional representation (PR) electoral rule. Using this institution, we identify the effect of electoral rules on legislators' behavior and disentangle whether so-called pork barrel politics are due to political climate in a country or due to the electoral rule employed. We find significant differences in committee membership, depending whether the legislator is elected though FPTP or PR. Legislators elected through FPTP system are members of committees that allows them to service their geographically based constituency. Legislators elected through PR are members of committees that service the party constituencies, which are not necessarily geographically based.

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