The Political Economy of Italian Electoral Reform
The Locke Institute series
Let us consider the political scene as a market whose supply side is made up of ﬁrms, which take the shape of political parties, and produce goods and services in the form of policies. On the demand side are placed consumers/voters who choose alternative policies with their votes (electoral choice) and buy them in exchange for the payment of a tax-price. As in any market, to work eﬃciently and eﬀectively the political market needs to be regulated by a system of rules. Amongst the most important of them is the mechanism governing the way in which electoral choices become authoritative policies. It is in this framework that the study of alternative electoral systems, in their role of regulating the game in which democracy is practised (Grofman and Reynolds, 1997), has gained a central place in the line of research on constitutional choice. Many contributions in the literature have stressed the importance of electoral rules in terms of their impact on economic, social and political behaviour. However, the eﬀects of diﬀerent rules have typically been studied from a static perspective, without considering the dynamic consequences of alternative rules in the presence of change. In other words, the investigation of the reasons for a particular change on the one hand, and the consequences on the other, has not received suﬃcient attention. Undertaking a research project on constitutional reform with the aim of studying choices in the presence of change implied an analysis structured to investigate on the...
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