Category Archives: Comparative Politics

The Declining Talent Pool of Government

The “benchwarmer” dilemma: You want your best 11 players on the field, but in order to motivate your players, you’ve got to threaten to replace them with an inferior player from the bench. Imagine you’re a soccer coach. You’ve got 14 players on your roster, 11 of whom are on the field at any given […]

Do Electoral Quotas Work after They Are Withdrawn? Evidence from a Natural Experiment in India

Women are five times more likely to win in post-quota seats than in other seats. Chew on that. Five times more likely. Women and minorities have a tough time winning American elections. Although half of Americans are female, only 15% of Congress is. Although only 69% of Americans are white, 89% of state legislators and […]

Does Voting History Matter? Analysing Persistence in Turnout

Yes, voting is habit-forming, but to a lesser extent than reported previously. Denny and Doyle have a straightforward point in this article: Yes, voting is habit-forming, but to a lesser extent than reported previously. In a widely discussed article, Gerber, Green, and Shachar (2003) reported that voting in one election raises the probability of voting […]

Are Voters Sensitive to Terrorism? Direct Evidence from the Israeli Electorate

Terrorism within a particular locality exerts a strong effect, particularly if it occurs within three months of election day. In general, support for right-bloc parties tends to rise in localities that experience terror attacks. Since 1984 Israeli has endured over 500 terrorist attacks, resulting in over 1000 fatalities. These attacks, together with the frequency of […]

Vote Buying or Turnout Buying? Machine Politics and the Secret Ballot

Are we observing “vote buying” (as we usually assume) or “turnout buying”? The question isn’t merely academic; “vote buying” smacks of corruption, but “turnout buying” looks more like mobilization Suppose that the Republicans started knocking doors on your street offering you and your neighbors a new flatscreen television if you come out and vote for […]