Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-684899dbb8-mhx7p Total loading time: 0.34 Render date: 2022-05-28T08:41:50.682Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true }

Attributing Policy Influence under Coalition Governance

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 September 2020

DAVID FORTUNATO*
Affiliation:
University of California, San Diego
NICK C. N. LIN*
Affiliation:
Academia Sinica
RANDOLPH T. STEVENSON*
Affiliation:
Rice University
MATHIAS WESSEL TROMBORG*
Affiliation:
Aarhus University
*
David Fortunato, Associate Professor, School of Global Policy and Strategy, University of California, San Diego, and Department of International Economics, Government and Business, Copenhagen Business School, dfortunato@ucsd.edu.
Nick C. N. Lin, Assistant Research Fellow, Institute of Political Science, Academia Sinica, nlin@gate.sinica.edu.tw.
Randolph T. Stevenson, Professor, Department of Political Science, Rice University, randystevenson@rice.edu.
Mathias Wessel Tromborg, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Aarhus University, tromborg@ps.au.dk.

Abstract

Coalition governance divides policy-making influence across multiple parties, making it challenging for voters to accurately attribute responsibility for outcomes. We argue that many voters overcome this challenge by inferring parties’ policy-making influence using a simple heuristic model that integrates a number of readily available and cheaply obtained informational cues about parties (e.g., their roles in government and legislative seat shares)—while ignoring other cues that, while predictive of real-world influence, are not suitable for heuristic inference (e.g., median party status and bargaining power). Using original data from seven surveys in five countries, we show that voters’ attributions of parties’ policy-making influence are consistent with our proposed inferential strategy. Our findings suggest that while voters certainly have blind spots that cause them to misattribute policy responsibility in some situations, their attributions are generally sensible and consistent with the academic research on multiparty policy making.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© The Author(s), 2020. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the American Political Science Association

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Footnotes

We are grateful to Thomas Gschwend, Indridi Indridason, Bing Powell, Petra Schleiter, Jon Slapin, Yannis Vassiliadis, seminar participants at Aarhus University, Bocconi University, the Copenhagen Business School, Oxford University, the University of Mannheim, and the University of Zurich, panel participants at the 2017 meetings of the American Political Science Association and the Danish Political Science Association, as well as four anonymous reviewers and editor Ken Benoit for comments on the project. All errors belong to us. Replication files are available at the American Political Science Review Dataverse at: https://doi.org/10.7910/DVN/MOL5B3

References

Ansolabehere, Stephen, and Jones, Philip Edward. 2010. “Constituents’ Responses to Congressional Roll-Call Voting.” American Journal of Political Science 54 (3): 583597.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Austen-Smith, David, and Banks, Jeffrey. 1988. “Elections, Coalitions, and Legislative Outcomes.” American Political Science Review 82 (2): 405422.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bagehot, Walter 1867. The English Constitution. London: Chapman and Hall.Google Scholar
Banzhaf, J. F. III. 1965. “Weighted Voting Doesn’t Work: A Mathematical Analysis.” Rutgers Law Review 19: 317343.Google Scholar
Baron, David P., and Diermeier, Daniel. 2001. “Elections, Governments, and Parliaments in Proportional Representation Systems.” The Quarterly Journal of Economics 116 (3): 933967.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
BBC. 2014. “Scottish Independence: UKIP Leader Nigel Farage Urges Queen to Back No Vote.” BBC News, September 12. http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-29170924.Google Scholar
Bowler, Shaun, Gschwend, Thomas, and Indridason, Indridi H.. 2018. “Coalition Policy Perceptions.” Working Manuscript. Universität Mannheim.Google Scholar
Cutts, David, and Russell, Andrew. 2015. “From Coalition to Catastrophe: The Electoral Meltdown of the Liberal Democrats.” Parliamentary Affairs 68: 7087.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Downs, Anthony. 1957. An Economic Theory of Democracy. Boston: Harper and Row.Google Scholar
Duch, Raymond M., and Stevenson, Randolph T.. 2008. The Economic Vote: How Political and Economic Institutions Condition Election Results. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Duch, Raymond M., Przepiorka, Wojtek, and Stevenson, Randolph T.. 2015. “Responsibility Attribution for Collective Decision Makers.” American Journal of Political Science 59 (2): 372389.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Fortunato, David. 2019. “The Electoral Implications of Coalition Policy Making.” British Journal of Political Science: 49 (1): 5980.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Fortunato, David, and Stevenson, Randolph T.. 2019. “Heuristics in Context.” Political Science Research and Methods: 7 (2): 311330.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Goldstein, Daniel G., and Gigerenzer, Gerd. 2002. “Models of Ecological Rationality: The Recognition Heuristic.” Psychological Review 109 (1): 7590.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Hamilton, Alexander. 1788. The Federalist Papers: No. 70.Google Scholar
Kedar, Orit. 2005. “When Moderate Voters Prefer Extreme Parties: Policy Balancing in Parliamentary Elections.” American Political Science Review 99 (2): 185199.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Laver, Michael, and Benoit, Kenneth. 2015. “The Basic Arithmetic of Legislative Decisions.” American Journal of Political Science 59 (2): 275291.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Laver, Michael, and Shepsle, Kenneth A.. 1996. Making and Breaking Governments. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lee, Seonghui, Haime, Ausustina, and Stevenson, Randoloh T.. 2019. “Measuring Knowledge of Parties’ Legislative Seat Shares.” Political Science Research and Methods 7 (1): 185196.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lijphart, Arend. 1977. Democracy in Plural Societies: A Comparative Exploration. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
Lin, Nick C. N., Stevenson, Randolph T., Tromborg, Mathias W., and Fortunato, David. 2017. “Gamson’s Law and Voters’ Perceptions of Portfolio Allocation.” European Journal of Political Research 56 (4): 912940.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Martin, Lanny W., and Vanberg, Georg. 2011. Parliaments and Coalitions: The Role of Legislative Institutions in Multiparty Governance. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Powell, G. Bingham, and Whitten, Guy D.. 1993. “A Cross-National Analysis of Economic Voting: Taking Account of the Political Context.” American Journal of Political Science 37: 391414.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rieskamp, Jörg, and Otto, Philipp E.. 2006. “SSL: a theory of how people learn to select strategies.” Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 135 (2): 207–36.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Sartori, Giovanni. 1994. Comparative Constitutional Engineering. Basingstoke: Macmillan.Google Scholar
Shah, Anuj K., and Oppenheimer, Daniel M.. 2008. “Heuristics Made Easy: An Effort-Reduction Framework.” Psychological Bulletin 134: 207222.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Shapley, Lloyd S., and Shubik, Martin. 1954. “A Method for Evaluating the Distribution of Power in a Committee System.” American Political Science Review 48 (3): 787792.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Todd, Peter M., and Gerd, Gigerenzer. 2007. “Environments That Make Us Smart: Ecological Rationality.” Current Directions in Psychological Science 16 (3): 167171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Supplementary material: Link

Fortunato et al. Dataset

Link
Supplementary material: PDF

Fortunato et al. supplementary material

Online Appendix

Download Fortunato et al. supplementary material(PDF)
PDF 1 MB
5
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Attributing Policy Influence under Coalition Governance
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Attributing Policy Influence under Coalition Governance
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Attributing Policy Influence under Coalition Governance
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *