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Theses and Dissertations

2009

Disproportionality

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Economics And Disproportionality: The Determinants Of Early Elections In Four Parliamentary Democracies, Howard Bartlett Sanborn May 2009

Economics And Disproportionality: The Determinants Of Early Elections In Four Parliamentary Democracies, Howard Bartlett Sanborn

Theses and Dissertations

In this analysis, I investigate the causes of early elections in four parliamentary democracies across the world: Great Britain, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand. While I consider a number of explanations for the decisions to hold early elections, I find most theoretical and statistical support for Smith's (2003; 2004) informational thesis. He maintains that governments look to future economic conditions when making their timing decision. This approach, however, also leaves open the possibility that other, non-economic factors can explain why prime ministers call elections earlier than is necessary. I argue that the degree of disproportionality, the measured gap between ...