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Flip-flopping from primaries to general elections

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  • Hummel, Patrick
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    Abstract

    I consider a model in which candidates must win a primary election to compete in the general election. Candidates may choose different policies in the primary and the general election, but doing so results in accusations of flip-flopping. I show that candidates adopt extreme policies in the primaries but then try to move closer to the center for the general election even though primary voters are forward-looking and anticipate this policy moderation. The extent to which candidates move closer to the center is constrained by flip-flopping costs, and candidates choose divergent policies in the general election. I obtain comparative statics results on candidate policy choices in terms of voter preferences.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

    Volume (Year): 94 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 11-12 (December)
    Pages: 1020-1027

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:94:y:2010:i:11-12:p:1020-1027

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

    Related research

    Keywords: Flip-flopping Primary elections General elections Policy selection;

    References

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    1. Alejandro Saporiti, 2007. "Existence and uniqueness of Nash equilibrium in electoral competition games: The hybrid case," Wallis Working Papers WP50, University of Rochester - Wallis Institute of Political Economy.
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    8. Micael Castanheira De Moura & Juan Carrillo, 2008. "Information and strategic political polarization," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/10003, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    9. Navin Kartik & R. Preston McAfee, 2007. "Signaling Character in Electoral Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 852-870, June.
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    11. Osborne, Martin J & Slivinski, Al, 1996. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(1), pages 65-96, February.
    12. John Duggan & Mark Fey, . "Electoral Competition with Policy-Motivated Candidates," Wallis Working Papers WP19, University of Rochester - Wallis Institute of Political Economy.
    13. Guillermo Owen & Bernard Grofman, 2006. "Two-stage electoral competition in two-party contests: persistent divergence of party positions," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 547-569, June.
    14. Steven Callander, 2008. "Political Motivations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(3), pages 671-697.
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    Cited by:
    1. Buechel, Berno & Klein, Jan, 2014. "Do Consumers' Preferences Really Matter? - A Note on Spatial Competition with Restricted Strategies," MPRA Paper 55288, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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