Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences


Political Science

Committee Chair

Erik Herron

Committee Co-Chair

Matthew Jacobsmeier

Committee Member

Mason Moseley

Committee Member

Jay Krehbiel

Committee Member

Tamba M'bayo


This dissertation seeks to explain the causes of split-ticket voting (skirt and blouse voting) in emerging democracies like Ghana. The analysis carried out here has been approached at three levels. This is because voters’ decisions in the voting booth are affected by factors within the larger political environment which are often beyond the individual voter. Thus, the three approaches employed here consider individual-level, constituency-level, and elite-level factors that affect the phenomenon. In each case different datasets were used to examine split-ticket voting. The analysis reveals that the individual-level factors (demographic characteristics and political information variables) are weak in explaining ticket splitting. Aside from their statistically weak relationship with ticket splitting, they are inconsistent in explaining the phenomenon. The most important factors shaping split-ticket voting, however, operate at the elite-level, and are coordination based. Using the Afrobarometer survey, constituency level electoral data, and a fieldwork survey, the analysis finds elite-level factors which are based on coordination successes and failures within and between parties as the best predictors of ticket splitting. The reason for this is that elite coordination successes and failures affect the available choice sets at any given election and these largely affect ticket splitting. I argue that differences in ticket splitting are better explained by variation in the degree of coordination among elite actors than by variation in characteristics of individual voters such as political sophistication.