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Polarization, Information Collection and Electoral Control

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  • Silvia Dominguez Martinez

    ()
    (Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Amsterdam)

  • Otto H. Swank

    ()
    (Erasmus School of Economics, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam)

Abstract

We identify the conditions under which voters can induce political parties to collect information and to select policies which are optimal from the representative voter’s point of view. We show that when parties are office motivated the voting rule should encourage parties to collect information. Voting rules that focus on the opposition party sometimes dominate voting rules that focus on the incumbent party. When parties are policy motivated, they also have to be motivated to select good policies. Generally, it is easier to stimulate policy motivated parties than office motivated parties to collect information. However, in contrast to office motivated parties, policy motivated parties will sometimes select policies that conflict with the representative voter’s interest. This discussion paper has resulted in a publication in the 'Social Choice and Welfare' . (26(3), 527-45.)

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Paper provided by Tinbergen Institute in its series Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers with number 04-035/1.

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Date of creation: 25 Mar 2004
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:uvatin:20040035

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Keywords: political competition; information; polarization.;

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  1. Christian Schultz, 1998. "Monetary Policy, Delegation and Polarization," Discussion Papers 98-17, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  2. Klaas J. Beniers & Otto H. Swank, 2003. "On the Composition of Committees," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 03-006/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  3. Ossokina, Ioulia V. & Swank, Otto H., 2004. "The optimal degree of polarization," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 255-262, March.
  4. Robert Dur & Otto H. Swank, 2005. "Producing and Manipulating Information," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(500), pages 185-199, 01.
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