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Campaigns, Political Mobility, and Communication

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Abstract

We present a model of elections in which interest group donations allow candidates to shift policy positions. We show that if donations were prohibited, then a unique equilibrium regarding the position choices of candidates would exist. With unrestricted financing of political campaigns two equilibria emerge, depending on whether a majority of interest groups runs to support the leftist or rightist candidate. The equilibria generate a variety of new features of campaign games and may help identify the objective functions of candidates empirically.

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Paper provided by CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich in its series CER-ETH Economics working paper series with number 11/143.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:eth:wpswif:11-143

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Keywords: elections; campaign contributions; interest groups;

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  1. Donald Wittman, 2008. "Targeted political advertising and strategic behavior by uninformed voters," Economics of Governance, Springer, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 87-100, January.
  2. Anderson, Simon P & Glomm, Gerhard, 1992. " Incumbency Effects in Political Campaigns," Public Choice, Springer, Springer, vol. 74(2), pages 207-19, September.
  3. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1996. "Electoral Competition and Special Interest Politics," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(2), pages 265-86, April.
  4. Potters, J.J.M. & Sloof, R. & Winden, F.A.A.M. van, 1997. "Campaign expenditures, contributions and direct endorsements. The strategic use of information and money to influence voter behaviour," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-73909, Tilburg University.
  5. Stephen Coate, 2004. "Pareto-Improving Campaign Finance Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 628-655, June.
  6. Hans Gersbach & Verena Liessem, 2002. "Financing Democracy," CESifo Working Paper Series 821, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Prat, A., 1998. "Campaign Spending with Office-Seeking Politicians, Rational Voters and Multiple Lobbies," Discussion Paper, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research 1998-123, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  8. Wittman, Donald, 2005. "Candidate Quality, Pressure Group Endorsements, And The Nature Of Political Advertising," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt2tw043ff, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  9. McKelvey, Richard D. & Ordeshook, Peter C., 1987. "Elections with limited information: A multidimensional model," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 77-99, August.
  10. Christian Schultz, 2007. "Strategic Campaigns and Redistributive Politics," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(522), pages 936-963, 07.
  11. Gersbach, Hans, 1998. "Communication skills and competition for donors," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 3-18, February.
  12. Roger Congleton, 1989. "Campaign finances and political platforms: The economics of political controversy," Public Choice, Springer, Springer, vol. 62(2), pages 101-118, August.
  13. Ignacio Ortuno-Ortin & Christian Schultz, 2005. "Public Funding of Political Parties," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 7(5), pages 781-791, December.
  14. Hans Gersbach, 2004. "The money-burning refinement: With an application to a political signalling game," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 67-87, January.
  15. Stephen Coate, 2004. "Political Competition with Campaign Contributions and Informative Advertising," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 2(5), pages 772-804, 09.
  16. Bernhardt, M. Daniel & Ingerman, Daniel E., 1985. "Candidate reputations and the `incumbency effect'," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 47-67, June.
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