Determinants of legislative committee membership in proportional representation systems Articles uri icon

publication date

  • September 2018

start page

  • 524

end page

  • 535

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1354-0688


  • This article explores the determinants of the allocation of parliamentary posts to specific legislators. Using an original data set of biographical information and committee assignments for almost 10,000 legislators in five non-presidential democracies (i.e. Finland, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, and Spain), we provide evidence that distributive posts are more likely to be allocated to electorally vulnerable members of parliament, mainly under candidate-centered electoral rules. We also show that posts in high-policy committees are usually assigned to prominent legislators within the parties. Contrary to what one could expect based on the literature on candidates' incentives to cultivate a personal vote, we find that the effect of district magnitude on the distribution of legislative posts does not depend on the type of list.


  • committee assignment; electoral vulnerability; personal vote; pr systems; type of lists