Ruling divided : disagreement, issue salience and portfolio allocation

Greene, Zachary and Jensen, Christian (2017) Ruling divided : disagreement, issue salience and portfolio allocation. Party Politics. pp. 1-53. ISSN 1354-0688

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    Abstract

    Issue salience and ideological disagreement often predict coalition government behavior. However, research on portfolio allocation has yet to fully specify the complex relationship between issue salience, disagreement and coalition negotiations. Scholars treat issue salience and disagreement as distinct and disconnected, despite evidence that they work together and with conditional effects in a range of settings. Following a logic of portfolio trades or ‘logrolls’, we propose that the relative salience of issues and disagreements at the issue level within the coalition both moderate the effect of issue salience on portfolio allocation. Using data drawn from the Parliamentary Democracy Data Archive, we find compelling evidence for our theory that links party manifestos to portfolio allocation. Consistent with a story on the conditional effect of salience and disagreement, we find evidence that the effect of salience is mitigated by the extent of disagreement between coalition parties.