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01-10-2008

Working Paper #41 available

This paper explores the effects that different institutional mechanisms for legislative representation have on ethnic and social diversity in national legislatures. It uses an original data set on the Romanian parliament to examine representational outcomes generated by a combination of specific types of electoral mechanisms such as list proportional representation and reserved seats. The paper’s findings highlight potential adverse effects that the use of communal representation mechanisms can have on the ethnic inclusiveness of main political parties. The findings also point to substantial differences in the social profile of minority representatives elected through different institutional channels. The group of deputies elected through the PR list of the ethnic minority party is found to be the least representative in social terms, which is attributed in the paper to the electoral rules-induced monopoly of the ethnic party on group representation.

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