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Electoral competition and political rents

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  • Michele Polo

Abstract

We analyze the relation between the intensity of electoral competition and the dissipation of political rents. In a model with perfectly informed and heterogeneous voters, two candidates commit to electoral platforms under a majority voting and winner-takes-all rule. If the proposed tax revenues exceed the cost of the public good, the winning candidate retains the surplus (political rents). The candidates are uncertain about voters' preferences. If they do not know them ean of voters' distribution (aggregate uncertainty), competition is relaxed and rents are positive. We then consider some extensions, as ideological positioning, increasing the number of candidates and imperfect commitment to the annouced policies.Series: IGIER Working Paper Series

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Paper provided by IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University in its series Working Papers with number 144.

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Handle: RePEc:igi:igierp:144

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  1. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1999. "The size and scope of government:: Comparative politics with rational politicians," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 699-735, April.
  2. Wittman, Donald, 1977. "Candidates with policy preferences: A dynamic model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 180-189, February.
  3. Roger B. Myerson, 1991. "Effectiveness of Electoral Systems for Reducing Government Corruption: A Game-Theoretic Analysis," Discussion Papers 956, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  4. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
  5. Torsten Persson & Gerard Roland & Guido Tabellini, . "Separation of Powers and Political Accountability," Working Papers 100, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  6. Wittman, Donald, 1989. "Why Democracies Produce Efficient Results," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1395-1424, December.
  7. Lindbeck, Assar & Weibull, Jorgen W., 1993. "A model of political equilibrium in a representative democracy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 195-209, June.
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