This paper examines the impact of New Zealand’s 1996 adoption of a mixed member proportional (MMP) voting scheme on representation in the legislature, voter turnout, vote volatility and the likelihood of an incumbent party winning re-election. I then consider whether MMP has had any negative consequences for the effectiveness of government policy in relation to fiscal accountability and countercyclical intervention. The data used in the analysis begins from the formation of the party system in New Zealand (in 1890) and extends through the adoption of MMP to the present (2017). The data set covers 42 elections: 34 before 1996 and 8 after.

Institutional change, Mixed Member Proportional Voting, Vote turnout, Vote volatilities, Winning margins, New Zealand
Economic Models of Political Processes: Rent-Seeking, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior (jel D72), Positive Analysis of Policy-Making and Implementation (jel D78), Deficit; Surplus (jel H62)
Department of Economics
Carleton Economics Working Papers (CEWP)
Department of Economics

Ferris, J.S. (2019). What Happens When Voting Rules Change? The Case of New Zealand (No. CEP 19-03). Carleton Economics Working Papers (CEWP). Department of Economics.