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On the benefits of party competition

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Author Info

  • Bernhardt, Dan
  • Campuzano, Larissa
  • Squintani, Francesco
  • Câmara, Odilon

Abstract

We study the role of parties in a citizen-candidate repeated-elections model in which voters have incomplete information. We first identify a novel "party competition effect" in a setting with two opposing parties. Compared with "at large" selection of candidates, party selection makes office-holders more willing to avoid extreme ideological stands, and this benefits voters of all ideologies. We then allow for additional parties. With strategic voting, citizens benefit most when the only two parties receiving votes are more moderate. With sincere voting, even with three parties, extreme parties can thrive at the expense of a middle party; and whether most citizens prefer two or three parties varies with model parameters.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Games and Economic Behavior.

Volume (Year): 66 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (July)
Pages: 685-707

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Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:66:y:2009:i:2:p:685-707

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622836

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References

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  1. Banks, Jeffrey S. & Sundaram, Rangarajan K., 1998. "Optimal Retention in Agency Problems," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 293-323, October.
  2. Mattozzi, Andrea & Merlo, Antonio, 2008. "Political careers or career politicians?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(3-4), pages 597-608, April.
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  4. Gilat Levy, 2004. "A model of political parties," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 540, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  5. Levy, Gilat, 2004. "A model of political parties," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 115(2), pages 250-277, April.
  6. Martin J. Osborne & Rabee Tourky, 2002. "Party Formation Incollective Decision-Making," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 844, The University of Melbourne.
  7. Massimo Morelli, 2001. "Party Formation and Policy Outcomes under Different Electoral Systems," Economics Working Papers 0018, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
  8. Lindbeck, Assar & Weibull, Jorgen W., 1993. "A model of political equilibrium in a representative democracy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 195-209, June.
  9. John Duggan, . "Repeated Elections with Asymmetric Information," Wallis Working Papers WP9, University of Rochester - Wallis Institute of Political Economy.
  10. Bernhardt, Dan & Dubey, Sangita & Hughson, Eric, 2004. "Term limits and pork barrel politics," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(12), pages 2383-2422, December.
  11. W. Robert Reed, 1994. "A Retrospective Voting Model With Heterogeneous Politicians," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(1), pages 39-58, 03.
  12. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
  13. Reed, W Robert, 1989. "Information in Political Markets: A Little Knowledge Can Be a Dangerous Thing," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(2), pages 355-74, Fall.
  14. Jeffrey Banks & John Duggan, 2001. "A Multidimensional Model of Repeated Elections," Wallis Working Papers WP24, University of Rochester - Wallis Institute of Political Economy.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Francesco Squintani, 2012. "Introduction to the symposium in political economy," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 49(3), pages 513-519, April.
  2. John Duggan & Jeffrey S. Banks, 2008. "A Dynamic Model of Democratic Elections in Multidimensional Policy Spaces," Wallis Working Papers WP53, University of Rochester - Wallis Institute of Political Economy.
  3. John Duggan, 2013. "A Folk Theorem for Repeated Elections with Adverse Selection," Wallis Working Papers WP63, University of Rochester - Wallis Institute of Political Economy.
  4. Jean Guillaume Forand & John Duggan, 2013. "Markovian Elections," Working Papers 1305, University of Waterloo, Department of Economics, revised Oct 2013.
  5. Jean Guillaume Forand, 2010. "Two-Party Competition with Persistent Policies," Working Papers 1011, University of Waterloo, Department of Economics, revised Nov 2010.

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