To have your cake and eat it too: accountability under a preferential voting system
PDF (Język Polski)


Voting rights regulations
preferential voting system
accountability system

How to Cite

Mikulska, A. (2014). To have your cake and eat it too: accountability under a preferential voting system. Przegląd Prawniczy Uniwersytetu Im. Adam Mickiewicza, 3, 167–198.


Informed by the findings in the economic voting literature and using an original dataset on Polish elections this research breaks away from this established practice and goes a step further by showing how economic conditions allow voters to distinguish between high/low performers and effectively attribute responsibility under open-list PR systems where voters can choose not only among parties but also among individual candidates. By integrating open-list design into the model of accountability this study transforms the way we think about the very act of voting.
PDF (Język Polski)


Alesina, Alberto, John Londregan, and Howard Rosenthal.1993. “A Model of the Political Economy of the United States.” American Political Science Review 87:12-33.

Alvarez, R. Michael, Jonathan Nagler, and Jennifer R. Willette. 2000. “Measuring the Relative Impact of Issues and the Economy in Democratic Elections.” Electoral Studies 19: 237-253.

Ames, Barry. 1995. “Electoral Strategy Under Open-List Proportional Representation.” American Journal of Political Science 39: 406-433.

Anderson, Christopher J. 2007. “The End of Economic Voting? Contingency Dilemmas and the Limits of Democratic Accountability.” Annual Review of Political Science 10: 271-96.

Anderson, Christopher J. 2000. “Economic voting and political context: a comparative perspective” Electoral Studies 19: 151–170.

Anderson, Christopher J. 1995. Blaming the Government: Citizens and the Economy in Five European Democracies. Armonk: M.E.Sharpe.

Bell, Janice. 1997. “Unemployment Matters: Voting Patterns during the Economic Transition in Poland 1990-1995.” Europe-Asia Studies 49(7): 1263-1291.

Cain, Bruce, John Ferejohn, and Morris Fiorina. 1987. The Personal Vote: Constituency Service and Electoral Independence. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Carey, John M. and Matthew Soberg Shugart.1994. “Incentives to Cultivate a Personal Vote: a Rank Ordering of Electoral Formula.” Electoral Studies 14: 417-439.

Chang, Eric. 2005. “Electoral Incentives for Political Corruption under Open-List Proportional Representation.” The Journal of Politics 67: 716-730.

Desposato, Scott W. and John R. Petrocik 2003. “The Variable Incumbent Advantage: New Voters, Redistricting, and the Personal Vote.” American Journal of Political Science (47):18-32.

Duch, Raymond M., and Randy Stevenson. 2008. Voting in Context: How Political and Economic Institutions Condition the Economic Vote. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Robert S. Erikson. 1971. "The Incumbency Advantage in Congressional Elections." Polity, 3: Spring, pp. 395-405.

Farrell, David M. and Ian McAllister. 2004. “Voter Satisfaction and Electoral Systems: Does Preferential Voting in Candidate-Centered Systems Make a Difference.” Center for the Study of Democracy: University of California, Irvine. Available at: http://repositories.

Fearon, J. 1999. “Electoral Accountability and the Control of Politicians.” In Przeworski, A. S. Stokes, and B. Manin, Democracy, Accountability, and Representation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999.

Ferejohn, J. 1986. “Incumbent Performance and Electoral Control.” Public Choice 50: 5-25.

Ferejohn.J. 1999. “Accountability and Authority: Toward a Theory of Political Accountability.” In Przeworski, A. S. Stokes, and B. Manin, Democracy, Accountability, and Representation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999.

Fidmurc, J. 2000. “Political Support for Reforms: Economics of Voting in Transition Countries.” European Economic Review 44:1491-1513.

Gelman, Andrew and Gary King. “Estimating Incumbency Advantage without Bias.” American Journal of Political Science 4: 1142-64.

Goodman S. and Gerald Kramer G. 1975 “Comment on Arcelus and Melzer, the Effect of Aggregate Economic Conditions on Congressional Elections.” American Political Science Review 69: 1255-1265.

Hamann, Kerstin. 2000. “Linking Policies and Economic Voting: Explaining Reelection in the Case of the Spanish Socialist Party.” Comparative Political Studies 33(8): 1018-48.

Hellwig, Timothy. (2001). "Interdependence, Government Constraints, and Economic Voting." The Journal of Politics 63(4): 1141-1162.

Hibbs DA. 1993. Solidarity or Egoism. Arhaus, Denmark: Aarhaus University Press.

Jackson, J.E., Klich, J., Poznanska, K., 2003a. “Democratic Institutions and Economic Reform: the Polish Case.” British Journal of Political Science 33:85-108.

Karp, Jeffrey. 2009. “Candidate Effects and Spill-Over in Mixed Systems.: Evidence from New Zealand.” Electoral Studies 28: 41-50.

Kramer, Gerald. 1971. “Short Term Fluctuations in US Voting Behavior:1896-1964.” American Politicas Science Review 65: 131-43.

Kunicova, Jana, and Susan Rose-Ackerman. 2005. “Electoral Rules and Constitutional Structures as Constraints on Corruption.” British Journal of Political Science 35: 573-606.

Lewis-Beck, Michael and Martin Paldam. 2000. “Economic Voting: an Introduction.” Electoral Studies 19: 113-121.

Lewis-Beck Michael S. and Mary Stegmaier. 2000. “Economic Determinants of Electoral Outcomes.” Annual Review of Political Sciencem3: 183-219.

Lewis-Beck Michael S .1988. Economics and Elections: The Major Western Democracies, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

Mach, Bogdan W. and John E. Jackson. 2006. “Employment Change, Attitude Evolution and Voting During Poland’s Transition: Longitudinal Evidence.” European Journal of Political Economy 22: 472-502.

Manin, Bernard, Adam Przeworski, and Susan C. Stokes. 1999. “Elections and Representation.” In Przeworski, A. S. Stokes, and B. Manin, Democracy, Accountability, and Representation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999.

Marsh, Michael. 1985. “The Voters Decide?: Preferential Voting in European List Systems.” European Journal of Political Research 13: 365-378.

Miller, Joanne M. and Jon A. Krosnick. 1998. “The Impact of Candidate Name Order on Election Outcomes.” The Public Opinion Quarterly 62(3): 291-330.

Owen, Andrew and Tucker Joshua. “Past is Still Present: Micro-level Comparisons of Conventional vs. Transitional Economic Voting in Three Polish Elections” with Andrew Owen, Electoral Studies, 29(1): 25-39.

Osborn, E., 2002. “How do Promarket Attitudes Depend on Social Position and Political Preferences?” In: Slomczynski, K.M. (Ed.), Social Structure: Changes and Linkages. Warsaw, Poland: IFiS PAN.

Pacek, Alexander. 1994. “Macroeconomic Conditions and Electoral Politics in East Central Europe.” American Journal of Political Science 38: 732-744.

Paldam Martin and Peter Naanestad. 2000. “Into Pandora’s Box of Economic Evaluations. A Study of the Danish Macro VP-Function 1986-1997.“ Electoral Studies 19: 123-140.

Persson, Torsten, Guido Tabellini, and Francesco Trebbi. 2003. “Electoral Rules and Corruption.” Journal of the European Economic Association 1(4): 958–89.

Petrocik, John R. and Scott W. Desposato. 2004. ”Incumbency and Short-term Influences on Voters.” Political Research Quarterly. 57: 363-373

Powell, G. Bingham. 2000. Elections as Instruments of Democracy. Yale University Press; new Haven.

Powell, Jr. G. Bingham and Guy D. Whitten. 1993. “A Cross-National Analysis of Economic Voting: Taking Account of the Political Context.” American Journal of Political Science 37(2): 391-41.

Powers D.V. and Cox J.H. 1997. “Echoes From the Past: the Relationship Between Satisfaction with Economic Reforms and Voting Behavior in Poland.” American Political Science Review 91(3): 617-633.

Przeworski, A. S.C. Stokes, and B. Manin. 1999. Democracy, Accountability, and Representation, Ed. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Roberts, Andrew. 2008. “Hyperaccountability: Economic voting in Central and Eastern Europe.” Electoral Studies 27: 533-546.

Reed, Steven R. 1994. “Democracy and the personal vote: A cautionary tale from Japan.” Electoral Studies 13: 17-28.

Sanders David. 2000. The Real Economy and the Perceived Economy in Popularity Functions: How Much Do Voters Need to Know? Electoral Studies 19: 275-294

Sartori, Giovanni.1976. Parties & Party Systems: A Framework for Analysis. Volume 1. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Scheve, Kenneth. 2004. “Democracy and Globalization : Candidate Selection in Open Economies,” Yale University, May 6, 2004. Available at:

Schumpeter, Joseph. 1947. Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy, 2nd ed. New York: Harper;

Smeets Valerie and Frederic Warzynski. Jb. 2006. “Creation, Job Destruction and Voting Behavior in Poland.” European Journal of Political Economy 22: 503-519.

Taagapera, Rein and Matthew S. Shugart. 1989. “Designing Electoral Systems.” Electoral Studies 8: 49-58.

Tucker, Joshua. 2001. “Economic Conditions and the Vote for Incumbent Parties in Russia, Poland, Hungary. Slovakia, and Czech Republic from 1990 to 1996.” Post-Soviet Affairs: 309-331.

Tucker, Joshua. 2002. “The First Decade of Post-Communist Elections and Voting: What Have We Studied, and How Have We Studied It?” Annual Review of Political Science 5: 271-304.

Tucker, Joshua. 2006. Regional Economic Voting: Russia, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and Czech Republic, 1990-1999. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Tucker, Joshua A. “Post-communist Regional Election and Economic Data: Russia, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic”. Electronic Data Set.

Tucker, Joshua. 1999. “It’s the Economy Comrade.” Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Atlanta, GA, September 2-5,1999.

Tufte, Edward. 1978. Political Control of the Economy. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Whitefield, Stephen. 2002. “Political Cleavages and Post-Communist Politics.” Annual Review of Political Science 5: 181-200.

Whitten G.D and H.D. Palmer. 1999. “Cross-National Analyses of Economic Voting.” Electoral Studies 18(1): 49-67.

Zielinski, Jakub, Kazimierz, Slomczynski, and Goldie Shabad. 2005. “Electoral Control in New Democracies: The Perverse Incentives of Fluid Party Systems.” World Politics 57: 365-95.