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How the Electoral College Influences Campaigns and Policy: The Probability of Being Florida

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  • David Stromberg
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    Abstract

    This paper analyzes how US presidential candidates should allocate resources across states to maximize the probability of winning the election, by developing and estimating a probabilistic-voting model of political competition under the Electoral College system. Actual campaigns act in close agreement with the model. There is a 0.9 correlation between equilibrium and actual presidential campaign visits across states, both in 2000 and 2004. The paper shows how presidential candidate attention is affected by the states' number of electoral votes, forecasted state-election outcomes, and forecast uncertainty. It also analyzes the effects of a direct national popular vote for president.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

    Volume (Year): 98 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 3 (June)
    Pages: 769-807

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    Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:98:y:2008:i:3:p:769-807

    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.98.3.769
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. The electoral college and candidate attention
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2008-09-24 12:38:00
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    Cited by:
    1. Galasso, Vincenzo & Nannicini, Tommaso, 2009. "Competing on Good Politicians," IZA Discussion Papers 4282, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Leopoldo Fergusson & James A. Robinson & Ragnar Torvik & Juan F. Vargas, 2012. "The Need for Enemies," NBER Working Papers 18313, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Daron Acemoglu & Camilo García-Jimeno & James A. Robinson, 2014. "State Capacity and Economic Development: A Network Approach," NBER Working Papers 19813, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Nicholas Bloom & Carol Propper & Stephan Seiler & John van Reenan, 2010. "The Impact of Competition on Management Quality: Evidence from Public Hospitals," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 10/237, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    5. Subhasish M. Chowdhury & Dan Kovenock J. & Roman M. Sheremeta, 2009. "An Experimental Investigation of Colonel Blotto Games," CESifo Working Paper Series 2688, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. Deborah Fletcher & Steven Slutsky, 2011. "Campaign allocations under probabilistic voting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 146(3), pages 469-499, March.
    7. Marcelin Joanis, 2011. "The road to power: partisan loyalty and the centralized provision of local infrastructure," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 146(1), pages 117-143, January.
    8. Patrick Hummel, 2011. "Proportional versus winner-take-all electoral vote allocations," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 148(3), pages 381-393, September.
    9. Vincenzo Galasso, 2014. "The role of political partisanship during economic crises," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 158(1), pages 143-165, January.
    10. M. Roth, 2011. "Resource allocation and voter calculus in a multicandidate election," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 148(3), pages 337-351, September.

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    1. Economic Logic blog

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