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Party Organization and Electoral Competition

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  • Nicolas Sahuguet

Abstract

We propose a model in which two parties select the internal organization that helps them win the election. Party choices provide incentives to the politicians who represent them. Depending on whether politicians are opportunistic or partisan, we identify four effects. First, a selection effect: intraparty competition gives parties more candidates to choose from. Second, an incentive effect: intraparty competition adds a hurdle and impacts on candidates' incentives. Third, a trust effect: because of the incentive effect, intraparty competition is a signal to uninformed voters. Finally, with partisan preferences, an ideology effect appears. Ideology is a public good in a competitive party and induces free riding. Intraparty competition is valuable when voters are badly informed or intraparty competition is weak. These results rationalize the introduction of direct primaries in the United States, the organizational changes in Western European parties since 1960, and the organizational differences between centrist and extreme parties. (JEL D23, D72, D81) The Author 2009. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Yale University. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oxfordjournals.org, Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal The Journal of Law, Economics, & Organization.

Volume (Year): 26 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 212-242

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Handle: RePEc:oup:jleorg:v:26:y::i:2:p:212-242

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Cited by:
  1. Agustín Casas, 2013. "Partisan politics : parties, primaries and elections," Economics Working Papers we1315, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
  2. Micael Castanheira & Benoît Crutzen & Nicolas Sahuguet, 2010. "The Impact of Party Organization on Electoral Outcomes," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 0(4), pages 677-695.
  3. 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.
  4. Castanheira, Micael & Nicodème, Gaëtan & Profeta, Paola, 2011. "On the political economics of tax reforms," CEPR Discussion Papers 8507, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Motz, Nicolas, 2012. "Who emerges from smoke-filled rooms? Political parties and candidate selection," MPRA Paper 42678, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Rafael Hortala-Vallve & Hannes Mueller, 2010. "Primaries: The Unifying Force," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 843.10, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  7. Fernando Aragon, 2009. "Candidate nomination procedures andpolitical selection: evidence from LatinAmerican parties," STICERD - Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers Series 003, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  8. Fernando Aragon, 2012. "Party Nomination Procedures and Quality of Government," Discussion Papers dp12-10, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University.
  9. Fernando Aragón, 2014. "Why do parties use primaries?: Political selection versus candidate incentives," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 160(1), pages 205-225, July.

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