Geography matters: the conditional effect of electoral systems on social spending Articles uri icon

publication date

  • January 2019

start page

  • 81

end page

  • 103


  • 1


  • 49

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0007-1234


  • There is a large body of research showing that the provision of social policies is higher under proportional electoral systems than under majoritarian systems. This article helps advance this literature by showing that the geographic distribution of social recipients plays an essential role in moderating the impact of electoral institutions on social provision. Using data from twenty-two OECD countries, the results show that majoritarian systems increase the provision of social spending when recipients are concentrated in certain regions. When levels of concentration are high, social spending in majoritarian countries can surpass levels of provision in proportional representation systems.


  • Politics


  • electoral systems; social spending; political geography; unemployment concentration