Public Choice

, Volume 103, Issue 3–4, pp 205–230

Proportional Representation with Citizen Candidates

  • Alan Hamlin
  • Michael Hjortlund


We construct a simple model incorporating bothcitizen-candidates and proportional representation andinvestigate its properties in a basic case with auniform distribution of citizen ideal points and purepolicy motivations, and in further cases which allowof office rents and other distributions ofpreferences. The idea of citizen-candidates, developedby Osborne and Slivinski (1996), Besley and Coate(1997), endogenises the decision to stand as acandidate and allows explicit study of the number andtype of candidates as an equilibrium phenomenon. Theidea of proportional representation allows a moreflexible relationship between the pattern of votescast and the final policy outcome, and also providesa richer model of political representation. Ourdiscussion points to the widespread possibility ofequilibria involving non-median policy outcomes;provides insights into the relationship betweenproportional representation and the equilibrium numberof candidates; and also provides an explicit accountof the trade-off between candidate benefitsdistributed on a winner-take-all basis and those thatare mediated through proportional representation.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alan Hamlin
    • 1
  • Michael Hjortlund
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsUniversity of SouthamptonSouthamptonU.K.
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsUniversity of AalborgDenmark
  3. 3.University of SouthamptonUK

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