Divisive Politics and Accountability
AbstractThe paper analyzes a political accountability game with an electorate of 'partisan' and 'independent' voters. It is shown that politicians have a strategic incentive to engage in 'divisive politics', that is, to force some independent voters to take sides, even if the direct electoral benefits are higher for their opponents than for themselves. By polarizing the electorate, the incumbent politician weakens the ability of independent voters to make him accountable for his policies in the common interest. Moreover, the interests of the incumbent and the opposition are aligned: the opposition also benefits from divisive politics because, in equilibrium, its election probability increases.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences in its series IEHAS Discussion Papers with number 1115.
Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2011
Date of revision:
political accountability; political agency; divisive politics; democracy in divided societies;
Other versions of this item:
- 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-2011-04-30 (All new papers)
- NEP-CDM-2011-04-30 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-POL-2011-04-30 (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.:
- Eric Maskin, 2003.
"The Politician and the Judge: Accountability in Government,"
Theory workshop papers
505798000000000076, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Eric Maskin & Jean Tirole, 2004. "The Politician and the Judge: Accountability in Government," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 1034-1054, September.
- Eric Maskin & Jean Tirole, 2004. "The Politician and the Judge: Accountability in Government," Economics Working Papers 0020, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
- Geys, Benny & Vermeir, Jan, 2008.
"Party cues and yardstick voting,"
European Journal of Political Economy,
Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 470-477, June.
- Geys, Benny & Vermeir, Jan, 2008. "Party cues and yardstick voting," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Processes and Governance SP II 2008-05, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
- Timothy Besley & Anne Case, 1992.
"Incumbent Behavior: Vote Seeking, Tax Setting and Yardstick Competition,"
NBER Working Papers
4041, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Besley, Timothy & Case, Anne, 1995. "Incumbent Behavior: Vote-Seeking, Tax-Setting, and Yardstick Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 25-45, March.
- Kiss, Áron, 2009.
"Coalition politics and accountability,"
Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Processes and Governance
SP II 2009-01, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
- Persson, Torsten & Roland, Gerard & Tabellini, Guido, 1997.
"Separation of Powers and Political Accountability,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1163-1202, November.
- John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
- Maria Paola & Vincenzo Scoppa, 2011.
"Political competition and politician quality: evidence from Italian municipalities,"
Springer, vol. 148(3), pages 547-559, September.
- Maria De Paola & Vincenzo Scoppa, 2010. "Political Competition And Politician Quality: Evidence From Italian Municipalities," Working Papers 201005, Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza (Ex Dipartimento di Economia e Statistica).
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Adrienn Foldi).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.