The aim of this paper is to study the effect of electoral regulation on party system development. Using a new database, this study shows existing variation in regulating electoral competition. It further illustrates that, perhaps contrary to electoral regulation design, increases in the amount of regulation about funding and monitoring have a stifling, rather than a stimulating, effect on party system size. More importantly, the paper provides evidence supporting the cartel thesis argument in that the changes allowed by incumbent parties help secure their collective survival, while keeping newcomers out.
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