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Political reputations and campaign promises

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  • Aragones, Enriqueta
  • Palfrey, Thomas R.
  • Postlewaite, Andrew

Abstract

We analyze conditions under which candidates' reputations may affect voters' beliefs over what policy will be implemented by the winning candidate of an election. We develop a model of repeated elections with complete information in which candidates are purely ideological. We analyze an equilibrium in which voters' strategies involve a credible threat to punish candidates who renege on their campaign promises and in which all campaign promises are believed by voters and honored by candidates. We characterize the maximal credible campaign promises and find that the degree to which promises are credible in equilibrium is an increasing function of the value of a candidate's reputation. (JEL: D8) (c) 2007 by the European Economic Association.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences in its series Working Papers with number 1258.

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Length: 78 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:clt:sswopa:1258

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Postal: Working Paper Assistant, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences, 228-77, Caltech, Pasadena CA 91125
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Cited by:
  1. Carlos Seixas & António Brandão & Manuel Luís Costa, 2013. "Policy Choices by an Incumbent - A Case with Down-Up Problem, Bias Beliefs and Retrospective Voting," FEP Working Papers 485, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
  2. Gersbach Hans, 2012. "Contractual Democracy," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 8(3), pages 823-851, December.
  3. Gersbach, Hans & Schneider, Maik, 2012. "Tax Contracts and Elections," CEPR Discussion Papers 9054, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Guido, Cataife, 2007. "The pronouncements of paranoid politicians," MPRA Paper 4473, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Ivo Bischoff & Lars-H. Siemers, 2013. "Biased beliefs and retrospective voting: why democracies choose mediocre policies," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 156(1), pages 163-180, July.
  6. Etienne Farvaque & Gael Lagadec, 2009. "Electoral Control when Policies are for Sale," CESifo Working Paper Series 2522, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Hans Gersbach & Oriol Tejada & Maik T. Schneider, 2014. "Coalition-Preclusion Contracts and Moderate Policies," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 14/195, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
  8. Marco A. Haan & Bart Los & Sander Onderstal & Yohanes E. Riyanto, 2010. "Punching above One's Weight: The Case against Election Campaigns," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 10-056/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  9. Böhm, Tobias, 2008. "Essays on Incentives in Public and Private Institutions," Munich Dissertations in Economics 8506, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  10. Selim Ergun, 2008. "Centrist's Curse? An Electoral Competition Model with Credibility Constraints," ThE Papers 08/06, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada..
  11. Jean Guillaume Forand & John Duggan, 2013. "Markovian Elections," Working Papers 1305, University of Waterloo, Department of Economics, revised Oct 2013.

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