On the absence of centripetal incentives in double-member districts the case of Chile

Eric Magar, Marc R. Rosenblum, David Samuels

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49 Scopus citations


In its final months, the Pinochet regime engineered a number of institutional reforms with the intent of bolstering the right side of the spectrum and of promoting centripetal political competition once democratic procedures were reinitiated in 1989. One of the most important reforms created 60 double-member districts for elections to the lower house. Although some analysts have claimed that the new system does in fact promote centrist position taking, using game theory and spatial modeling, the authors demonstrate that the incentives of the Chilean electoral system encourage politicians to take noncentrist positions along a left-right spectrum. The combination of double-member districts with the d'Hondt seat allocation method and open-list voting creates a Rival Partners Game, creating perverse incentives for Chilean candidates. The authors' theoretical results help clarify the debate about the effects of post-authoritarian institutional reforms in Chile and should encourage empirical research on the same issues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)714-739
Number of pages26
JournalComparative Political Studies
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1998


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