So, Do You Really Want to Be a Senator? The Political Economy of Candidate Motivation and Electoral Defeat in Chile
If, as a candidate, I really want to win a seat, I will prefer to run in a favourable district, and with a list partner who maximises my own chances of success (in a 2-seat district). In the 1997 and 2001 Chilean Senate elections, many government candidates chose precisely the opposite. This ‘perverse’ behaviour was especially noticeable in 2001, when ‘consolation prizes’ for losers (the spoils of Presidential office) were twice as large as in 1997. The empirical evidence overwhelmingly supports the conclusion that these candidates did not really want to win seats, but to qualify for ‘consolation prizes’.
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