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Candidate quality, pressure group endorsements and the nature of political advertising

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  • Wittman, Donald

Abstract

Candidates may vary in quality, where quality is some characteristic orthogonal to policy. This "simple modification" has for the most part defied integration into the Downsian framework. Here we add the following complicating factors. We consider the possibility that there are uninformed voters who are ignorant of the candidates' relative quality. However, a pressure group with inside information regarding the quality of the candidates may endorse one of the candidates as the high-quality candidate. We assume that the uninformed voters behave rationally in the presence of this endorsement. We show that campaign endorsements by the pressure group are generally welfare improving even though the pressure group takes advantage of its private information.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 23 (2007)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 360-378

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Handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:23:y:2007:i:2:p:360-378

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505544

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References

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  1. Stephen Coate, 2001. "Political Competition with Campaign Contributions and Informative Advertising," NBER Working Papers 8693, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Grossman, G-M & Helpman, E, 1996. "Competing for Endorsements," Papers 182, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  3. Prat, Andrea, 2002. "Campaign Spending with Office-Seeking Politicians, Rational Voters, and Multiple Lobbies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 162-189, March.
  4. Mueller, Dennis C & Stratmann, Thomas, 1994. " Informative and Persuasive Campaigning," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 81(1-2), pages 55-77, October.
  5. David Austen-Smith, 1987. "Interest groups, campaign contributions, and probabilistic voting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 54(2), pages 123-139, January.
  6. Andrea Prat, 2002. "Campaign Advertising and Voter Welfare," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(4), pages 999-1017.
  7. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1996. "Electoral Competition and Special Interest Politics," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(2), pages 265-86, April.
  8. Donald Wittman, 2005. "Valence characteristics, costly policy and the median-crossing property: A diagrammatic exposition," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 124(3), pages 365-382, September.
  9. Grofman, Bernard & Norrander, Barbara, 1990. " Efficient Use of Reference Group Cues in a Single Dimension," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 64(3), pages 213-27, March.
  10. Aragones, Enriqueta & Palfrey, Thomas R., 2002. "Mixed Equilibrium in a Downsian Model with a Favored Candidate," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 131-161, March.
  11. Ansolabehere, Stephen & Snyder, James M, Jr, 2000. " Valence Politics and Equilibrium in Spatial Election Models," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 103(3-4), pages 327-36, June.
  12. Roger Congleton, 1989. "Campaign finances and political platforms: The economics of political controversy," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 62(2), pages 101-118, August.
  13. Cukierman, Alex, 1991. " Asymmetric Information and the Electoral Momentum of Public Opinion Polls," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 70(2), pages 181-213, May.
  14. Stephen Coate, 2004. "Pareto-Improving Campaign Finance Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 628-655, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Prato, Carlo & Wolton, Stephane, 2014. "The Voters' Curses: The Upsides and Downsides of Political Engagement," MPRA Paper 53482, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Evrenk, Haldun & Lambie-Hanson, Timothy & Xu, Yourong, 2013. "Party-bosses vs. party-primaries: Quality of legislature under different selectorates," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 168-182.
  3. Donald Wittman, 2005. "Valence characteristics, costly policy and the median-crossing property: A diagrammatic exposition," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 124(3), pages 365-382, September.
  4. Daniel Houser & Thomas Stratmann, 2006. "Selling Favors in the Lab: Experiments on Campaign Finance Reform," CESifo Working Paper Series 1727, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Thomas Stratmann, 2005. "Some talk: Money in politics. A (partial) review of the literature," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 124(1), pages 135-156, July.
  6. Hans Gersbach, 2011. "Campaigns, Political Mobility, and Communication," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 11/143, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.

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