Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Competence and Ideology


Author Info

  • Dan Bernhardt
  • Odilon C�mara
  • Francesco Squintani


We develop a dynamic repeated election model in which citizen candidates are distinguished by both their ideology and valence. Voters observe an incumbent's valence and policy choices but only know the challenger's party. Our model provides a rich set of novel results. In contrast to existing predictions from static models, we prove that dynamic considerations make higher-valence incumbents more likely to compromise and win re-election, even though they compromise to more extreme policies. Consequently, we find that the correlation between valence and extremist policies rises with office-holder seniority. This result may help explain previous empirical findings. Despite this result, we establish that the whole electorate gains from improvements in the distribution of valences. In contrast, fixing average valence, the greater dispersion in valence associated with a high-valence political elite always benefits the median voter but can harm a majority of voters when voters are sufficiently risk averse. We then consider interest groups (IGs) or activists who search for candidates with better skills. We derive a complete theoretical explanation for the intuitive conjectures that policies are more extreme when IGs and activists have more extreme ideologies, and that such extremism reduces the welfare of all voters. Copyright 2011, Oxford University Press.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL:
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal The Review of Economic Studies.

Volume (Year): 78 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 487-522

as in new window
Handle: RePEc:oup:restud:v:78:y:2011:i:2:p:487-522

Contact details of provider:

Related research



No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.


Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. John Duggan, 2013. "A Folk Theorem for Repeated Elections with Adverse Selection," Wallis Working Papers, University of Rochester - Wallis Institute of Political Economy WP64, University of Rochester - Wallis Institute of Political Economy.
  2. Matias Iaryczower & Andrea Mattozzi, 2012. "The pro-competitive effect of campaign limits in non-majoritarian elections," Economic Theory, Springer, Springer, vol. 49(3), pages 591-619, April.
  3. Jean Guillaume Forand & John Duggan, 2014. "Markovian Elections," 2014 Meeting Papers, Society for Economic Dynamics 153, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. Jean Guillaume Forand & John Duggan, 2013. "Markovian Elections," Working Papers, University of Waterloo, Department of Economics 1305, University of Waterloo, Department of Economics, revised Oct 2013.
  5. César Martinelli & John Duggan, 2014. "The Political Economy of Dynamic Elections: A Survey and Some New Results," Working Papers, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM 1403, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM.
  6. Raphael Boleslavsky & Christopher Cotton, 2012. "Information and Extremism in Elections," Working Papers, University of Miami, Department of Economics 2013-04, University of Miami, Department of Economics.
  7. Siddhartha Bandyopadhyay & Manaswini Bhalla & Kalysan Chatterjee & Jaideep Roy, 2014. "Ideological Dissent in Downsian Politics," Discussion Papers, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham 14-04, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.


This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.


Access and download statistics


When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:restud:v:78:y:2011:i:2:p:487-522. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Oxford University Press) or (Christopher F. Baum).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.