Many scholars suggest that proportional representation increases party mobilization by creating nationally competitive districts that give parties an incentive to mobilize everywhere. This paper provides theoretical and empirical arguments that bring this claim into question. I propose, unlike earlier scholars, that the positive effect of district competitiveness on party mobilization efforts increases as electoral districts become more disproportional, arguing that disproportionality itself encourages mobilization by exaggerating the impact of competitiveness on mobilization. Individual-level survey data from national legislative elections show that competitiveness has a much larger positive effect on parties' mobilization efforts in single-member districts than in proportional districts. Contrary to prior literature, these results suggest proportional electoral rules give parties no strong incentive to mobilize anywhere.
To replicate these results, you can use Git to clone this repository or download it as a
.zip archive. The original CSES data set is too large to host in a GitHub repository, so you need to download this
.zip file, unzip, and move the file
cses2_rawdata.txt to the
data subdirectory of this project. Once you do this, you can replicate all the results by simply setting the project directory (i.e.,
strategic-mobilization) as R's working directory and running the script
do-all.R. Beware that this takes about 12 hours. Unfortunately, the main analysis,
mcmc.R takes the bulk of this time. Note that the
do-all.R script creates a new subdirectories
doc/tabs that store all the R output, tables, and figures, respectively.