The Politics of Ambiguity
AbstractPoliticians face a trade-off between the policies that maximize their chances of reelection and their most preferred policies (or the policies most preferred by the constituency which they represent). This paper analyzes this trade-off in a dynamic electoral model in which the voters are not fully informed about the preferences of the incumbent. First, we show that the incumbent follows a policy which is intermediate between the other party's ideal policy and his own ideal policy. Second, we show that, often, the incumbent has an incentive to choose procedures which make it difficult for voters to pinpoint his preferences with absolute precision. Thus, politicians may prefer to be "ambiguous."
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Harvard University Department of Economics in its series Scholarly Articles with number 4552530.
Date of creation: 1990
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Publication status: Published in Quarterly Journal of Economics
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