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Strategic Competition in Sequential Election Contests

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  • Strumpf, Koleman S
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    Abstract

    This paper studies a sequential election contest, such as the American presidential primary, in which several elections occur one at a time until a single winner emerges. The conventional wisdom is such a system benefits a candidate favored in the initial elections because of momentum. This paper uncovers a potentially opposing force if participation is costly and candidates exit when they have unfavorable future prospects. A candidate with friendly elections at the end of the contest will typically benefit from the resulting game theoretic competition. Tension between this strategic effect and momentum helps explain several empirical regularities of presidential primaries. Copyright 2002 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal Public Choice.

    Volume (Year): 111 (2002)
    Issue (Month): 3-4 (June)
    Pages: 377-97

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:111:y:2002:i:3-4:p:377-97

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    Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100332

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    Cited by:
    1. Brian Knight & Nathan Schiff, 2010. "Momentum and Social Learning in Presidential Primaries," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(6), pages 1110 - 1150.
    2. Patrick Hummel & Richard Holden, 2013. "Optimal Primaries," NBER Working Papers 19340, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Bag, Parimal Kanti & Sabourian, Hamid & Winter, Eyal, 2009. "Multi-stage voting, sequential elimination and Condorcet consistency," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(3), pages 1278-1299, May.
    4. Konrad, Kia A. & Kovenock, Dan, 2006. "Multi-Stage Contests with Stochastic Ability," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1192, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
    5. Klumpp, Tilman & Polborn, Mattias K., 2006. "Primaries and the New Hampshire Effect," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(6-7), pages 1073-1114, August.
    6. Dmitry Ryvkin, 2007. "Tullock contests of weakly heterogeneous players," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 132(1), pages 49-64, July.
    7. Hummel, Patrick, 2012. "Sequential voting in large elections with multiple candidates," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(3), pages 341-348.
    8. Patrick Hummel & Brian Knight, 2012. "Sequential or Simultaneous Elections? A Welfare Analysis," NBER Working Papers 18076, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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