Electoral Competition through Issue Selection
AbstractPolitics must tackle multiple issues at once. In a first-best world, political competition constrains parties to prioritize issues according to the voters' true concerns. In the real world, the opposite also happens: parties manipulate voter priorities by emphasizing issues selectively during the political campaign. This phenomenon, known as priming, should allow parties to pay less attention to the issues that they intend to mute. We develop a model of endogenous issue ownership in which two vote-seeking parties (i) invest to attract voters with "better" policy proposals and (ii) choose a communication campaign to focus voter attention on specific issues. We identify novel feedbacks between communication and investment. In particular, we find that stronger priming effects can backfire by constraining parties to invest more resources in all issues, including the ones they would otherwise intend to mute. We also identify under which conditions parties prefer to focus on their "historical issues" or to engage in issue stealing. Typically, the latter happens when priming effects are strong, and historical reputations differentiates parties less.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 9012.
Date of creation: Jun 2012
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Other versions of this item:
- Enriqueta Aragon�s & Micael Castanheira & Marco Giani, 2012. "Electoral Competition through Issue Selection," Working Papers 641, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
- Enriqueta Aragonès & Micael Castanheira & Marco Giani, 2012. "Electoral Competition through Issue Selection," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 903.12, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
- D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
- H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-07-14 (All new papers)
- NEP-CDM-2012-07-14 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-POL-2012-07-14 (Positive Political Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Josep M. Colomer & Humberto Llavador, 2008.
"An Agenda-Setting Model of Electoral Competition,"
331, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
- AMOROS, Pablo & PUY, M. Socorro, 2007. "Dialogue or issue divergence in the political campaign?," CORE Discussion Papers 2007084, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
- Enriqueta Aragones & Santiago Sanchez-Pages, 2010.
"The disadvantage of winning an election,"
ESE Discussion Papers
194, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
- Enriqueta Aragonès & Santiago Sánchez-Pagés, 2010. "The disadvantage of winning an election," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 811.10, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
- Enriqueta Aragonès & Santiago Sánchez-Pagés, 2010. "The Disadvantage of Winning an Election," Working Papers 439, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
- Aragonès, Enriqueta & Sánchez-Pagés, Santiago, 2010. "The disadvantage of winning an election," SIRE Discussion Papers 2010-21, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
- Denter, Philipp, 2013. "A theory of communication in political campaigns," Economics Working Paper Series 1302, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
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