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Published September 5, 2017 | Submitted
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A Mathematical Proof of Duverger's Law


A famous stylized fact in comparative politics, Duverger' s Law, is that electoral systems based on single ballot winner-take-all plurality voting will produce bipartisan competition. This paper presents an equilibrium model of elections in which this stylized fact emerges a logical implication of rational strategic voting behavior by individuals in a large heterogeneous electorate.

Additional Information

The author would like to thank the National Science Foundation for financial support. This paper was prepared for delivery at the "Economic Theories of Politics" conference in Haifa, Israel, June 1988, and has benefited from discussions with Bruce Cain, John Ledyard, and Richard McKelvey.

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