Physical attractiveness, voter heuristics and electoral systems: The role of candidate attractiveness under different institutional designs

Daniel Stockemer, Rodrigo Praino

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    7 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    While existing studies have shown that more attractive candidates running for office have an electoral advantage, very little has been written on how this advantage relates to different institutions. We theorise that formal institutions mediate the positive effect from which attractive candidates benefit. More in detail, we focus on the type of electoral system, hypothesising that physical attractiveness plays a more important role in majoritarian, first-past-the-post systems than in list proportional systems. We test this stipulation using the German federal elections’ two-tier electoral system, together with data collected in Australia on the physical attractiveness of German federal election candidates in 2013. A series of bivariate and multivariate statistics show that physical attractiveness is a significant factor explaining a candidate’s likelihood to win in the FPTP tier, but not in the list proportional representation (PR) tier.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)336-352
    Number of pages17
    JournalBritish Journal of Politics and International Relations
    Volume19
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2017

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