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The Role of Political Parties: An Analysis Based on Transaction Costs

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  • Jones, Philip R
  • Hudson, John

Abstract

This paper explores the proposition that political parties reduce the transaction costs of electoral participation. Political parties provide a low cost signal of a candidate's policies and personal characteristics and, in this way, reduce voters' information costs. With reference to 'transaction cost economics,' political parties offer an 'implicit contract' between voters and politicians and thereby reduce the scope for opportunism by politicians. This impact on transaction costs is important in any evaluation of public policy towards political parties. Copyright 1998 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Public Choice.

Volume (Year): 94 (1998)
Issue (Month): 1-2 (January)
Pages: 175-89

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Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:94:y:1998:i:1-2:p:175-89

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

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  1. Jones, Philip & Hudson, John, 1996. "Standardization and the costs of assessing quality," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 355-361, September.
  2. Levitt, Steven D, 1994. "Using Repeat Challengers to Estimate the Effect of Campaign Spending on Election Outcomes in the U.S. House," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(4), pages 777-98, August.
  3. Wittman, Donald, 1989. "Why Democracies Produce Efficient Results," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1395-1424, December.
  4. Mueller,Dennis C., 2003. "Public Choice III," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521894753, October.
  5. Maute, Manfred F. & Forrester, William Jr., 1991. "The effect of attribute qualities on consumer decision making: a causal model of external information search," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 643-666, December.
  6. Schram, Arthur & Sonnemans, Joep, 1996. "Why people vote: Experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 417-442, August.
  7. George J. Stigler, 1961. "The Economics of Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 69, pages 213.
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Cited by:
  1. Geys, Benny & Vermeir, Jan, 2008. "Party cues and yardstick voting," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 470-477, June.
  2. Bischoff, Ivo, 2003. "Party competition in a heterogeneous electorate – the role of dominant-issue-voters," Finanzwissenschaftliche Arbeitspapiere 68, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Fachbereich Wirtschaftswissenschaften.
  3. Geys, Benny & Vermeir, Jan, 2012. "Party cues in elections under multilevel governance: Theory and evidence from US states," Discussion Papers, Research Professorship & Project "The Future of Fiscal Federalism" SP II 2012-107, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  4. Marcel Gérard & Laurent van Malderen, 2012. "Tax Interaction among Walloon Municipalities: Is there Room for Yardstick Competition, Intellectual Trend and Partisan Monopoly Effect?," CESifo Working Paper Series 4025, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Geys, Benny, 2012. "Success and failure in electoral competition: Selective issue emphasis under incomplete issue ownership," Discussion Papers, Research Professorship & Project "The Future of Fiscal Federalism" SP II 2012-102, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  6. Claudio Parés, 2010. "Political Careers Concerns and Political Parties," Working Papers 02-2010, Departamento de Economía, Universidad de Concepción.
  7. Raffaella Santolini, 2008. "A spatial cross-sectional analysis of political trends in Italian municipalities," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 87(3), pages 431-451, 08.

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