Mechanical and psychological effects of electoral reform
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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- Scientific articles 
Original versionBritish Journal of Political Science, 46(2016)2:265-279 http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007123414000209
To understand how electoral reform affects political outcomes, one needs to assess its total effect, incorporating how the reform affects the outcomes given the political status quo (the mechanical effects) and the additional reactions of political agents (the psychological effects). We propose a framework that allow us to ascertain the relative magnitude of mechanical and various psychological effects. The empirical approach is based on pairwise comparisons of actual and counterfactual seat allocation outcomes. We use the design to analyze a nationwide municipal electoral reform in Norway, which changed the seat allocation method from D'Hondt to Modified Sainte-Laguë. We document clear psychological effects.
This is the authors’ accepted and refereed manuscript to the article