The Real Swing Voter's Curse
AbstractA key idea in political economy is that policy is often tailored to voters who are not ideologically attached - swing voters. We show, however, that in political environments where political parties can use repression and violence to exclude voters from elections, they may optimally target the swing voters. This is because they anticipate that if they had to compete for the support of these voters, they would end up giving them a lot of policy favors. Hence in weakly institutionalized political environments swing voters are cursed rather than blessed. We illustrate the analysis with a discussion of recent political events in Zimbabwe.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14799.
Date of creation: Mar 2009
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Publication status: published as James A. Robinson & Ragnar Torvik, 2009. "The Real Swing Voter's Curse," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 310-15, May.
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Other versions of this item:
- H1 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-03-22 (All new papers)
- NEP-CDM-2009-03-22 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-POL-2009-03-22 (Positive Political Economics)
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CSAE Working Paper Series
2014-20, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
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