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Revista de ciencia política (Santiago)

On-line version ISSN 0718-090X

Abstract

LUJAN, DIEGO. The cost of coordinating: the number of presidential candidates in Latin American elections, 1993-2010. Rev. cienc. polít. (Santiago) [online]. 2017, vol.37, n.1, pp.25-46. ISSN 0718-090X.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0718-090X2017000100002.

The number of candidates competing in elections may have significant political consequences. In Latin America, presidential contests in many countries yield a large number of candidates, which contradicts theoretical expectations based on the fact that this is effectively a single-member competition. I provide an explanation based on coordination cost incurred by candidatess in unstable and low-programmatic electoral markets. Given this cost, we should expect entry decisions to exceed the theoretical upper limit. At the empirical level, the explanation is tested using statistical models of presidential election data in 18 Latin American countries between 1993 and 2010. Ifind evidence in support of the hypothesis that unstable and low-programmatic electoral markets are associated with a larger than expected number of presidential candidates.

Keywords : presidential elections; Latin America; electoral coordination; coordination failure; electoral systems.

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