Carolina Kansikas


I am a MRes./Phd student at the University of Warwick, UK. I hold a Master of Science in Economics and a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland. My research interests are mainly in political economy. 


You can find more about my research in the dedicated section. 



Are two votes better than one? Preference for diversity, representativeness and information (with Manuel Bagues)

August 2019

 We examine theoretically and empirically a new voting system that was introduced in Italian local elections in 2013. In a context of proportional representation with open lists, voters can cast up to two preference votes for candidates to the local council, one for a male candidate and one for a female. As shown by Baltrunaite et al. (2017), this system has managed to increase substantially the share of women in local councils from around 18% to 36% but it has attracted limited attention from voters, with only 20% using their two votes. We argue that, while the new system allows voters to express their preference for diversity, it gives more weight to voters who cast more votes, compromising its representativeness. We conducted a survey to explore whether the low take-up reflects voters' preferences or lack of information, finding some support for the latter: 49% of respondents ignored the availability of a 2nd vote. Evidence from Sicily, where the ballot explicitly indicated the possibility of using two votes, suggests that a better design of the ballot might help to increase both the number of elected women and the representativeness of the system.

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©2019 Carolina Kansikas