Electoral Geography and Redistributive Politics

This paper offers a new electoral geography perspective on two stylized facts that do not fit easily with our current understanding of the implications of electoral rules for electoral politics and social policy: (1) proportional representation (PR) electoral rules are not always associated with more generous social spending. In some cases, comparatively high levels of social spending in majoritarian single-member district (SMD) systems are observed. (2) Contrary to our theoretical expectations, national two-party competition occurs rarely, even under SMD rules. Here, professor Jusko demonstrates the importance of electoral geography through a series of analytic examples that are based on a simple model of electoral politics, and in which all possible combinations of electoral boundaries, rules, and voter locations are manipulated.