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- Ideological Versus Downsian Political Competition

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  • Ignacio Ortuño Ortín

    (Universidad de Alicante)

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    Abstract

    We analyze a one-dimensional model of spatial political competition with two parties and uncertainty on the distribution of voters types. We assume that parties are formed by regular members and professional politicians; members care about the policy enacted, while professional politicians, on the contrary, only care about winning the election. We consider two possibilities: that members choose the political platforms and that professional politicians are the ones who choose such platforms. The expected utility for party members is analyzed under these two cases. We find that when professional politicians have no informational advantage, it is on the interest of both parties to let professional politicians choose the platforms. Only in the case in which professional politicians have much better information than the members of the party about voters is it possible that party members obtain a greater expected utility choosing the platforms themselves rather than letting the professional politicians choose.

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    File URL: http://www.ivie.es/downloads/docs/wpasad/wpasad-1998-22.pdf
    File Function: Fisrt version / Primera version, 1998
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie) in its series Working Papers. Serie AD with number 1998-22.

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    Length: 28 pages
    Date of creation: Jul 1998
    Date of revision:
    Publication status: Published by Ivie
    Handle: RePEc:ivi:wpasad:1998-22

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    Related research

    Keywords: party competition; delegation; asymmetric information;

    References

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    1. Eaton, B Curtis & Lipsey, Richard G, 1975. "The Principle of Minimum Differentiation Reconsidered: Some New Developments in the Theory of Spatial Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(1), pages 27-49, January.
    2. Caplin, A. & Nalebuff, B., 1989. "Aggregation And Social Choice: A Mean Voter Theorem," Discussion Papers 1989_31, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
    3. Martin J. Osborne, 1995. "Spatial Models of Political Competition under Plurality Rule: A Survey of Some Explanations of the Number of Candidates and the Positions They Take," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 28(2), pages 261-301, May.
    4. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1970. "Increasing risk: I. A definition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 225-243, September.
    5. Alesina, Alberto & Rosenthal, Howard, 1996. "A Theory of Divided Government," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1311-41, November.
    6. Ignacio OrtuÓo-OrtÎn, 1997. "A spatial model of political competition and proportional representation," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 427-438.
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