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Who emerges from smoke-filled rooms? Political parties and candidate selection

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  • Motz, Nicolas

Abstract

This paper presents a model of candidate selection through political parties where politicians differ in terms of their quality and their favored policies. The central assumption is that political parties are better informed about their potential candidates than voters are. Questions of interest include whether voters can gain information about candidates by observing the party's choice and to what extent parties select the candidates preferred by the median voter. The results depend crucially on how competitive the race is. Under strong competition, nominating a politically more extreme politician is a signal of high quality. Sufficient competition also induces parties to act in the interest of the median voter most of the time, even when parties attach very little intrinsic value to quality. As ideological alignment between the median voter and a party reduces the degree of competition that this party faces, the median voter can be better off when parties are polarized.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 44462.

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Date of creation: Nov 2012
Date of revision: Feb 2013
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:44462

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Keywords: Political parties; electoral competition; valence; candidate selection; primaries;

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  1. Fabian Gouret & Guillaume Hollard & Stéphane Rossignol, 2011. "An empirical analysis of valence in electoral competition," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00867711, HAL.
  2. B.S.Y. Crutzen & Micael Castanheira De Moura & Nicolas Sahuguet, 2010. "Party organization and electoral competition," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/136805, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  3. Jackson, Matthew O. & Mathevet, Laurent & Mattes, Kyle, 2007. "Nomination Processes and Policy Outcomes," International Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 2(1), pages 67-92, March.
  4. Andrea Mattozzi & Antonio Merlo, 2007. "The Transparency of Politics and the Quality of Politicians," PIER Working Paper Archive 07-008, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  5. Raphael Boleslavsky & Christopher Cotton, 2012. "Information and Extremism in Elections," Working Papers 2013-04, University of Miami, Department of Economics.
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