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Why representatives are ideologists though voters are not

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  • Amihai Glazer
  • Bernard Grofman

Abstract

Though few voters appear to hold consistent ideological views, the roll call votes of congressmen and senators can be well predicted by ideological terms. An explanation for this puzzle is that ideology allows candidates to succinctly explain their views. Because it is difficult to explain detailed positions to voters, a candidate who presents his position in ideological terms may be able to defeat a candidate who supports a set of issue positions that would, in toto, be preferred by a majority of well-informed voters were the voters aware of all the views of that candidate. This effect can be a powerful one. Moreover, ideology may be a source of electoral stability, and a means of providing regularity and structure to elite political debate. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Public Choice.

Volume (Year): 61 (1989)
Issue (Month): 1 (April)
Pages: 29-39

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Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:61:y:1989:i:1:p:29-39

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

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  1. McKelvey, Richard D, 1979. "General Conditions for Global Intransitivities in Formal Voting Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(5), pages 1085-1112, September.
  2. Kalt, Joseph P & Zupan, Mark A, 1984. "Capture and Ideology in the Economic Theory of Politics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 279-300, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Robert A.J. Dur, 1999. "Why do Policy Makers stick to Inefficient Decisions?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 99-050/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  2. Robert A.J. Dur, 1999. "Why do Policy Makers stick to Inefficient Decisions?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 99-050/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  3. Lodewijk Smets & Stephen Knack & Nadia Molenaers, 2013. "Political ideology, quality at entry and the success of economic reform programs," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 447-476, December.
  4. Scott Feld & Samuel Merrill & Bernard Grofman, 2014. "Modeling the effects of changing issue salience in two-party competition," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 158(3), pages 465-482, March.
  5. repec:dgr:uvatin:2099050 is not listed on IDEAS

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