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Campaigning and Ambiguity when Parties Cannot Make Credible Election Promises

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  • Westermark, Andreas

    ()
    (Uppsala University)

Abstract

This paper studies a model of how political parties use resources for campaigning to inform voters. Each party has a predetermined ideology drawn from some distribution. Parties choose a platform and campaign to inform voters about the platform. We find that, the farther away parties are from each other (on average), the less resources are spent on campaigning (on average). Thus, if parties are extreme, less information is supplied than if parties are moderate. We also show that if a public subsidy is introduced, we have policy convergence, given some mild technical restrictions on the public subsidy.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Research Institute of Industrial Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 568.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: 20 Nov 2001
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Games and Economic Bahavior, 2004, pages 421-452.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0568

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Keywords: Political Parties; Campaigning;

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  1. Potters, Jan & Sloof, Randolph & van Winden, Frans, 1997. "Campaign expenditures, contributions and direct endorsements: The strategic use of information and money to influence voter behavior," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 1-31, February.
  2. Schultz, Christian, 1996. "Polarization and Inefficient Policies," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(2), pages 331-44, April.
  3. Harrington, Joseph Jr. & Hess, Gregory D., 1996. "A Spatial Theory of Positive and Negative Campaigning," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 209-229, December.
  4. Chappell, Henry W, Jr, 1994. " Campaign Advertising and Political Ambiguity," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 79(3-4), pages 281-303, June.
  5. Joseph E. Harrington, 1992. "The Revelation Of Information Through The Electoral Process: An Exploratory Analysis," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(3), pages 255-276, November.
  6. Alesina, Alberto & Cukierman, Alex, 1990. "The Politics of Ambiguity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(4), pages 829-50, November.
  7. Harrington Jr. , Joseph E., 1993. "The Impact of Reelection Pressures on the Fulfillment of Campaign Promises," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 71-97, January.
  8. Christian Schultz & Ignacio Ortuño Ortín, 2000. "Public Funding Of Political Parties," Working Papers. Serie AD 2000-27, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  9. Westermark, Andreas, 2004. "Extremism, campaigning and ambiguity," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 421-452, May.
  10. Banks, Jeffrey S & Sobel, Joel, 1987. "Equilibrium Selection in Signaling Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(3), pages 647-61, May.
  11. Banks, Jeffrey S., 1990. "A model of electoral competition with incomplete information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 309-325, April.
  12. Cho, In-Koo & Kreps, David M, 1987. "Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(2), pages 179-221, May.
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