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Campaign Promises and Political Factions

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  • Elena Panova
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    Abstract

    This paper builds a dynamic model of electoral competition with nonbinding campaign promises. We find that campaign promises by a candidate for office signal her political preferences and public policy that she intends to implement. The reason is that electoral competition induces her to pander campaign promises to political interests by a minimal majority of citizens. If their votes bring her in office, she has to raise them once again in order to be re-elected. For that, she needs to fulfill her electoral promises. To minimize the cost of pandering to re-election if in office, a candidate gives campaign promises that she would like to fulfill the most. She fulfills them if in office, unless the cost of fulfillment lies above the benefit from re-election. We show, furthermore, that representatives by a minimal majority of citizens form a faction to coordinate their electoral strategies, and we investigate the consequences of such political collusion.

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    File URL: http://www.cirpee.org/fileadmin/documents/Cahiers_2008/CIRPEE08-01.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by CIRPEE in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 0801.

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    Date of creation: 2008
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    Handle: RePEc:lvl:lacicr:0801

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    Related research

    Keywords: Electoral promises; pork-barrel politics; political parties;

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    1. Massimo Morelli, 2004. "Party Formation and Policy Outcomes under Different Electoral Systems," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71, pages 829-853, 07.
    2. Alesina, Alberto & Spear, Stephen E., 1988. "An overlapping generations model of electoral competition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 359-379, December.
    3. Eric Maskin & Jean Tirole, 2004. "The Politician and the Judge: Accountability in Government," Economics Working Papers 0020, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
    4. Castanheira, Micael & Crutzen, Benoît SY & Sahuguet, Nicolas, 2005. "Party Governance and Political Competition with an Application to the American Direct Primacy," CEPR Discussion Papers 4890, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Levy, Gilat, 2004. "A model of political parties," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 115(2), pages 250-277, April.
    6. Bernard Caillaud & Jean Tirole, 2002. "Parties As Political Intermediaries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1453-1489, 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.
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