Punching above One's Weight: The Case against Election Campaigns
AbstractPoliticians differ in their ability to implement some policy. In an election, candidates make commitments regarding the plans they will try to implement if elected. These serve as a signal of true ability. In equilibrium, candidates make overambitious promises. The candidate with the highest ability wins. Yet, the electorate may be better off having a random candidate implement her best plan, rather than seeing the winner implementing an overambitious plan. This is more likely if the ability distribution is skewed toward high values, the number of candidates is high, with private benefits from being elected, or if parties select candidates.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Tinbergen Institute in its series Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers with number 10-056/1.
Date of creation: 10 Jun 2010
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election promises; signalling;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2011-02-26 (All new papers)
- NEP-CDM-2011-02-26 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-CTA-2011-02-26 (Contract Theory & Applications)
- NEP-MIC-2011-02-26 (Microeconomics)
- NEP-POL-2011-02-26 (Positive Political Economics)
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