A Unified Model of Cabinet Dissolution in Parliamentary Democracies


King, Gary, James Alt, Nancy Burns, and Michael Laver. 1990. A Unified Model of Cabinet Dissolution in Parliamentary Democracies, American Journal of Political Science 34: 846–871. Copy at http://j.mp/jOjuHO
Article2.28 MB


The literature on cabinet duration is split between two apparently irreconcilable positions. The attributes theorists seek to explain cabinet duration as a fixed function of measured explanatory variables, while the events process theorists model cabinet durations as a product of purely stochastic processes. In this paper we build a unified statistical model that combines the insights of these previously distinct approaches. We also generalize this unified model, and all previous models, by including (1) a stochastic component that takes into account the censoring that occurs as a result of governments lasting to the vicinity of the maximum constitutional interelection period, (2) a systematic component that precludes the possibility of negative duration predictions, and (3) a much more objective and parsimonious list of explanatory variables, the explanatory power of which would not be improved by including a list of indicator variables for individual countries.