Translated Titles

Duverger's Law as Scale Effect: Evidence from Taiwan 2014 Village Chief Elections




王宏恩(Austin Horng-En Wang)

Key Words

村里長選舉 ; 杜佛傑法則 ; 政黨標籤 ; 選民數 ; 規模效應 ; village and li election ; Duverger's law ; party label ; number of electorate ; scale effect



Volume or Term/Year and Month of Publication

22卷1期(2015 / 05 / 01)

Page #

109 - 141

Content Language


Chinese Abstract


English Abstract

Contrary to Duverger's Law, most of the winners in Taiwan's village and li Single-Member-District elections are independent. Why? Is partisanship not effective on attracting ballot in this election? This article emphasizes the amount of electorates in districts as the key moderating variable. When personal resource is not enough in exchange of winning because of the large number of electorates, party brand can be a cost-saving heuristic cue on attracting partisan voters; party brand has "scale effect" in district with more electorates. Due to the special colonial background followed by economic development, the size of village and li in Taiwan varies tremendously-some are small enough that every electorate knows each other, the others are so large that it is impossible for candidates to meet everyone. This special setting enables researchers to test the interaction between partisanship and number of electorates on voteshare, controlling for the level of government and electoral system. Being the first quantitative paper on Taiwan's village and li elections, this article uses 2014 election results to reveal that (1) number of electorates negatively correlates to singlecandidate district and independent incumbent reelection. (2) Number of electorate positively correlates to larger proportion of candidates from two major parties. (3) DPP candidates received more votes when the number of electorates in district is larger, which is consistent with the scale effect assumption. However, the same effect does not appear on KMT candidates, which implies the meanings of the two major party brands are different. Empirical results suggest that vote-seeking candidates choose campaign strategy conditioning on the number of electorates in district. Regression result also suggests that candidates benefit from middle age, male, and incumbency.

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