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Political Science and Political Economy Research Seminar

Reelection can Increase Legislative Cohesion: Evidence from Clientelistic Parties in Mexico

Lucia Motolinia (New York University)

Tuesday 08 June 2021 14:00 - 15:30

Due to the onging coronavirus outbreak, many of our seminars and public events this year will continue as online seminars. Please check our website listings and Twitter feed @STICERD_LSE for updates.


About this event

It is often argued that when legislators have electoral incentives to cultivate personal votes, parties are less cohesive. This is because legislators have an alternative principal with whom they must build bonds of accountability: their voters. I offer a theory for why this will not always be the case. I posit that when parties control access to the resources candidates need to cultivate a personal vote, the introduction of personal vote-seeking incentives can increase party cohesion, not decrease it. It can do so, because party leaders can condition a legislator's access to the resources they need to cultivate a personal vote on loyalty to the party's agenda. To test this theory, I turn to the case of Mexico, where an electoral reform in 2014 introduced the possibility of reelection for state legislators. I estimate the ideological placement of Mexican state legislators by applying correspondence analysis to a new dataset of over half a million speeches in 20 states from 2012 to 2018. Leveraging the staggered implementation of the reform, I conduct a difference-in-difference analysis of its effects on intra-party cohesion. Results accord with the theory and have broad ramifications for work on personal vote-seeking, for Mexican politics, and for countries introducing personal vote-oriented electoral reforms.

The Political Science and Political Economy (PSPE) research group at the LSE brings together faculty and PhD students who do quantitative and/or formal research on political institutions, political behaviour, public policy, and political economy.

The PSPE Research Seminar provides a venue for researchers (mostly from outside of the LSE) to present their work.

These seminars are held on Tuesdays in term time at 14.00-15.30, ONLINE, unless specified otherwise.

Seminar coordinator: Dr Stephane Wolton

Contact gov.comms@lse.ac.uk to be added to the mailing list and to recieve the zoom link.