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Presidents with Prime MinistersDo Direct Elections Matter?$

Margit Tavits

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199553327

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199553327.001.0001

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(p.241) APPENDIX

(p.241) APPENDIX

Chapter 6 Data Sources

Presidents with Prime Ministers
Oxford University Press

1. Aggregate analysis of turnout

Variable label




Percent of registered voters who participated in a given parliamentary (lower house) election.

International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, http://www.idea.int/vt/; websites of election commissions

Compulsory voting

Coded “1” if abstention is legally sanctioned, “0” otherwise.


District magnitude

An average number of candidates elected from any electoral district

Golder (2005), Tavits (2008b)

Personal vote

Coded “1” if the electoral system allows voting for an individual candidate (e.g., single member plurality and open‐list proportional representation) and “0” otherwise.

Tavits (2007b)

Effective number of parties

The number of parties weighted by their vote share.

Golder (2005)


Coded “1” for countries with federal structure, “0” otherwise.

Griffith and Neerenberg (2005)


Difference in the vote shares of two parties with the most votes.

Europe: Parties and Elections at www.parties-and-elections.de; Africa: http://africanelections.tripod. com/; Latin America: http://pdba.georgetown.edu/

Concurrent elections

Coded “1” if presidential and parliamentary elections are held at the same time, “0” otherwise.


Founding elections

Coded “1” for the first democratic elections, “0” otherwise. The pre‐1973 sample includes only Western Europe.

Freedom House at http://www.freedomhouse.org


The average score of political rights and civil liberties. The pre‐1973 sample includes only Western Europe, coded “1” for the entire period.


GDP per capita

Penn World Tables

Secondary school enrolment

Measured as a percent of total population.

World Bank, World Development Indicators

Life expectancy

Measured at birth.



The percent of total population living in urbanized areas.



Penn World Tables


2. Analysis of political disillusionment Measures of the dependent variables, World Values Survey IV

Variable label

Survey question

Value range

Trust in government

“Could you tell me how much confidence you have in [government]: is it a great deal of confidence, quite a lot of confidence, not very much confidence or none at all?”

1 = “none at all” 4 = “a great deal”

Trust in parliament

“Could you tell me how much confidence you have in [parliament]: is it a great deal of confidence, quite a lot of confidence, not very much confidence or none at all?”

1 = “none at all” 4 = “a great deal”

Satisfaction with democracy

“On the whole how satisfied are you with the way democracy is developing in our country?”

1 = “not at all satisfied” 4 = “very satisfied”

Political involvement (The variable is an average of all five indicators of involvement.)

“I'm going to read out some different forms of political action that people can take, and I'd like you to tell me, for each one, whether you have actually done any of these things, whether you might do it or would never, under any circumstances, do it. a) signing a petition b) joining in boycotts c) attending lawful demonstrations d) joining unofficial strikes e) occupying buildings or factories”

1 = “would never do” 3 = “have done”

Subjective well‐being

“Taking all things together, would you say you are very happy, quite happy, not very happy, not at all happy?”

1 = “not at all happy” 4 = “very happy”


Measures of independent variables

Variable label




2005 Corruption Perception Index, recoded so that high values indicate higher level of corruption.

Transparency International at www.transparency.org

Social trust

Country averages to the World Value Survey question asking whether most people can be trusted

World Values Survey IV

GDP per capita

The latest year for which the data are available.

Penn World Tables


GINI index

United Nations Development Program


The average of Freedom House indicators of political rights and civil liberties as of 2005.

Freedom House at www.freedomhouse.org

3. Political attitudes in Slovakia, New Democracies Barometer

Variable label

Survey question

Value range

Support for non‐democratic alternatives

“Please indicate the extent to which you agree with the following statements:

1 = “strongly agree” 2 = “somewhat agree”

Return to communism

We should return to Communist rule

Army rule

The army should govern the country

3 = “somewhat disagree”

Strong leader

It is best to get rid of Parliament and elections and have a strong leader who can quickly decide everything.”

4 = “strongly disagree”

Trust in institutions

“Please indicate the extent to which you trust the following political institutions:

1 = “no trust at all” 7 = “great trust”

Trust in parliament

Members of parliament

Trust in parties

Political parties

Trust in president


Trust in prime minister

Prime Minister”