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
A Unified Model of Cabinet Dissolution in Parliamentary Democracies


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.