Minimizing the losers: regime satisfaction in multi-level systems

  • Katharina Holzinger
  • Andrea Schneider
  • Klaus W. Zimmermann
Original Research


The political blessings of federalism are the core of our discussion. These benefits can be operationalized as a decrease in the number of outvoted people in a federal system with majority voting which is an important source of regime satisfaction. The approach originates from the work of Roland Pennock who developed a similar methodology about 50 years ago. Measuring inverse regime satisfaction by the maximum of the outvoted, our results show that regime satisfaction decreases if total population rises. Additionally, the share of the maximum outvoted decreases if the top level cooperates with lower-level jurisdictions and if all jurisdictions of one level are included. However, while the inclusion of an additional lowest-level jurisdiction always reduces the relative number of the outvoted, the effect of including other levels depends on the structure of jurisdictions already intertwined.


Federalism Decentralization Multi-level systems Regime satisfaction 

JEL Classification

H77 D72 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katharina Holzinger
    • 1
  • Andrea Schneider
    • 2
  • Klaus W. Zimmermann
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Politics and Public AdministrationUniversity of KonstanzKonstanzGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Public Economics IUniversity of MünsterMünsterGermany
  3. 3.Institute for Economic Policy ResearchHelmut-Schmidt-University HamburgHamburgGermany

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