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The Influence of Special Interests and Party Activists on Electoral Competition

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  • Nicolas-Guillaume Martineau

Abstract

This paper studies the effects on electoral competition of political parties relying on monetary donations and volunteer labour for their electioneering activities. It also examines whether a recorded decline in party activism increases special-interest influence on party policy platforms. Parties are shown to choose differentiated platforms in equilibrium when activists are present, despite factors drawing them together. Special-interest influence on platforms increases when a decline in activism stems from a fall in their motivation, following parties relying less upon them. This reduces procedural welfare, and potentially reduces voter welfare on policy outcomes, thus calling for more strict electoral laws.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2012/wp-cesifo-2012-05/cesifo1_wp3811.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3811.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3811

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Related research

Keywords: activism; special-interest politics; political participation; collective action; electoral competition; electoral financing laws; welfare;

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  1. Poutvaara, Panu, 2003. "Party platforms with endogenous party membership," Munich Reprints in Economics 19298, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  2. Mueller,Dennis C., 2003. "Public Choice III," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521894753, October.
  3. Robin Boadway & Nicolas Marceau & Steeve Mongrain, 2007. "Redistributive Taxation under Ethical Behaviour," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 109(3), pages 505-529, 09.
  4. Hannes Mueller, 2007. "Political Support and Candidate Choice," JEPS Working Papers 07-002, JEPS.
  5. John Aldrich, 1983. "A spatial model with party activists: implications for electoral dynamics," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 63-100, January.
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