A Political Agency Model of Coattail Voting
AbstractThis paper provides a theoretical model for the coattail effect, where a popular candidate for one branch of government attracts votes to candidates from the same political party for other branches of government. I assume a political agency framework with moral hazard in order to analyze the coattail effect in simultaneous presidential and congressional elections. I show that coattail voting is the outcome of the optimal reelection scheme adopted by a representative voter to motivate politicians' efforts in a retrospective voting environment. I assume that an office-motivated politician (executive or member of congress) prefers her counterpart to be affiliated with the same political party. This correlation of incentives leads the voter to adopt a joint performance evaluation rule, which is conditioned on the politicians belonging to the same party or to different parties. Two-sided coattail effects then arise. On the one hand, an executive's success props up, while failure drags down, her partisan ally in the congressional election, which implies a presidential coattail effect. On the other hand, the executive's reelection itself is affected by a congress member's performance, which results in a reverse coattail effect.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 28800.
Date of creation: 01 Dec 2010
Date of revision:
Coattail voting; Presidential coattail effect; Reverse coattail effect; Simultaneous elections; Political Agency; Retrospective voting.;
Other versions of this item:
- D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2011-02-19 (All new papers)
- NEP-CDM-2011-02-19 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-CIS-2011-02-19 (Confederation of Independent States)
- NEP-CTA-2011-02-19 (Contract Theory & Applications)
- NEP-POL-2011-02-19 (Positive Political Economics)
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