When land votes: rural interests and the consequences of unequal electoral representation in Western protectionism, 1870-1914

GT 5.2 Sistemas electorales y representación

Pablo Simón Cosano (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)
Sesión 1
Día: jueves,21 de septiembre de 2017
Hora: 09:00 a 11:00
Lugar: Sala de Juntas

This paper contributes to the literature on the historical adoption of redistributive policies and trade liberalization by studying the political and economic consequences of the geographical value of votes, or the apportionment of the number of representatives to each electoral district. We focused on the experiences of a large number of Western countries. The analysis is focused in the period between 1870 and 1914, when significant changes occurred in the political systems including the extension of franchise, the increasing strength of labor parties and the adoption of the proportional rule in some Western European countries especially after World War I. Our research firstly looks at the value of votes by measuring the importance of malapportionment, a bias that over or under-represent districts across the polity, in a comparative perspective and focus on its determinants. Secondly, our paper analyzes its political and economic consequences by looking at the effects of the over-represented regions on the adoption of protectionist agricultural policies.

Palabras clave: electoral systems, malapportionment, rural interest, agrarian policies