Democratic Electoral Systems Around the World, 1946-2011


  1. Nils-Christian Bormann & Matt Golder. 2013. "Democratic electoral Systems Around the World, 1946-2011." Electoral Studies. [replication materials]
  2. Abstract: This research note describes an update to Golder's (2005) Democratic Electoral Systems (DES) dataset. We extend the temporal scope of the original dataset by including all legislative and presidential elections that took place in democratic states from 2001 through 2011. In addition to significantly expanding the size of the DES dataset, we offer a simplified classification scheme for electoral systems. We also provide more detailed information about all democratic elections since 1946, including the dates for each round of elections as well as the rules used in different electoral tiers. A brief temporal and geographic overview of the data is presented.

    If you use these data, please cite the article listed above.


  3. Matt Golder. 2005. "Democratic electoral Systems Around the World, 1946-2000." Electoral Studies 24: 103-121.

    Abstract: Electoral institutions are often considered an important independent or dependent variable in many areas of political science. However, problems with data availability have often artificially constrained much of our empirical research to particular geographic regions or time periods. This article describes a new dataset that covers the electoral institutions used in all of the democratic legislative and presidential elections in 199 countries between 1946 (or independence) and 2000. This amounts to 867 legislative elections and 294 presidential elections. A clear and consistent classification of the electoral institutions used in these elections is followed by a concise geographical and temporal analysis. The worldwide focuse of the dataset reveals several striking patterns. For example, there have been almost as many elections under dictatorship as there have been under democracy. Other patterns include the fact that presidential regimes nearly always employ proportional electoral formulas, absolute majority rule has become the worldwide norm for electing presidents, majoritarian electoral systems account for the same percentage of legislative elections as they did in the 1950s, and non-majoritarian systems have become more complex due to the increasing use of multiple tiers and mixed electoral formulas.

    If you use these data, please cite the article listed above.


Elections and Electoral Systems

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