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The Revelation Of Information Through The Electoral Process: An Exploratory Analysis

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  • Joseph E. Harrington
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    Abstract

    This paper investigates the incentives for candidates to make informative campaign speeches concerning their policy intentions. Electoral competition is modeled as a game of communication in which candidates'policy preferences are private information and they compete by making pre-electoral policy announcements. An equilibrium is shown to exist in which candidates reveal their true policy intentions. We find that campaign messages are more likely to be informative, the less powerful is the elected office, the more attractive are candidates'opportunities outside of office, and the more uniform are candidates'prior beliefs as to the median voter's preferred policy. Copyright 1992 Blackwell Publishers Ltd..

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Economics & Politics.

    Volume (Year): 4 (1992)
    Issue (Month): 3 (November)
    Pages: 255-276

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    Handle: RePEc:bla:ecopol:v:4:y:1992:i:3:p:255-276

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    Cited by:
    1. Westermark, Andreas, 1999. "Extremism, Campaigning and Ambiguity," Working Paper Series 1999:9, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    2. John Chilton, 1998. "Strategic poll responses when elections create mandates," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 94(1), pages 21-47, January.
    3. David Austen-Smith & Jeffrey S. Banks, 1998. "Cheap Talk and Burned Money," Discussion Papers 1245, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    4. Todd Kendall, 2010. "Strategic political commentary," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 142(1), pages 151-175, January.
    5. Austen-Smith, David & Banks, Jeffrey S., 2002. "Costly signaling and cheap talk in models of political influence," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 263-280, June.
    6. Randall S. Kroszner & Thomas Stratmann, 1999. "Does Political Ambiguity Pay? Corporate Campaign contributions and the Rewards to Legislator Reputation," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 155, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
    7. Casamatta Georges & Sand-Zantman Wilfried, 2006. "Citizen Candidacy With Asymmetric Information," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-41, February.
    8. Paul Heidhues & Johan Lagerlöf, 2000. "Hiding Information in Electoral Competition," CIG Working Papers FS IV 00-06, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG), revised Feb 2002.
    9. Potters, Jan & Sloof, Randolph & van Winden, Frans, 1997. "Campaign expenditures, contributions and direct endorsements: The strategic use of information and money to influence voter behavior," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 1-31, February.
    10. Enriqueta Aragonés & Andrew Postlewaite, 1999. "Ambiguity in election games," Economics Working Papers 364, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    11. Enriqueta Aragonès & Thomas R. Palfrey & Andrew Postlewaite, 2005. "Reputation and Rhetoric in Elections," PIER Working Paper Archive 05-027, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 01 Sep 2005.
    12. Ascensión Andina, 2004. "Asymmetric Information And Electoral Campaigns: The Monitoring Role Of Media," Working Papers. Serie AD 2004-32, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
    13. Westermark, Andreas, 2001. "Campaigning and Ambiguity when Parties Cannot Make Credible Election Promises," Working Paper Series 568, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.

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