Behavioral Consequences of Open Candidate Recruitment

Abstract: Candidate-selection methods (CSM) crucially affect the behavior of Members of Parliament (MPs). Extant research investigates the consequentiality of the selectorate, but is neglecting the candidacy dimension of CSM. But what are the behavioral implications of minimal candidacy-eligibility criteria (CEC)? I theorize that parties adopt closed CEC in safe districts to ensure nominating loyalist candidates, while they use open CEC in contested districts to attract entrepreneur candidates able to woo decisive swing voters. Using survey and observational data from Japan, where parties have concurrently been nominating candidates through open and more closed CEC, I show that entrepreneur candidates are more responsive to their districts but less active in the legislature, measured by different types of activities. These findings corroborate my expectations that entrepreneur candidates lack political experience and are sidelined by their more traditional colleagues. Moreover, the results broaden our understanding of how CSM affect MPs’ behavior.


License CC BY-NC-ND
Type Journal Articles
C-ID POLS 130 - Comparative
Pedagogical Note Not Yet