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.
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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)
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