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Electoral Poaching and Party Identification

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  • Kovenock, Dan
  • Robertson, Brian

Abstract

This paper studies electoral competition in a model of redistributive politics with deterministic voting and heterogeneous voter loyalties to political parties. We construct a natural measure of “party strength” based on the sizes and intensities of a party’s loyal voter segments and demonstrate how party behavior varies with the two parties’ strengths. In equilibrium, parties target or “poach” a strict subset of the opposition party’s loyal voters: offering those voters a high expected transfer, while “freezing out” the remainder with a zero transfer. The size of the subset of opposition voters frozen out and consequently, the level of inequality in utilities generated by a party’s equilibrium redistribution schedule is increasing in the opposition party’s strength. We also construct a measure of “political polarization” that is increasing in the sum and symmetry of the parties’ strengths, and find that the expected ex-post inequality in utilities of the implemented policy is increasing in the political polarization.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Purdue University, Department of Economics in its series Purdue University Economics Working Papers with number 1178.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pur:prukra:1178

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  1. Baye, M.R. & Kovenock, D. & De Vries, C., 1992. "The All-Pay Auction with Complete Information," Papers, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics 8-92-1, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  2. Alessandro Lizzeri, 2000. "The Drawbacks of Electoral Competition," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers, Econometric Society 0898, Econometric Society.
  3. Joan-Maria Esteban & Debraj Ray, 1991. "On the Measurement of Polarization," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development 18, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
  4. Alessandro Lizzeri & Nicola Persico, . ""The Provision of Public Goods Under Alternative Electoral Incentives''," CARESS Working Papres, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences 98-08, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  5. Judd, Kenneth L., 1985. "The law of large numbers with a continuum of IID random variables," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 19-25, February.
  6. Lien, Da-Hsiang Donald, 1990. "Corruption and allocation efficiency," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 153-164, July.
  7. Gene Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1994. "Electoral Competition and Special Interest Politics," NBER Working Papers 4877, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Nicolas Sahuguet & Nicola Persico, 2006. "Campaign spending regulation in a model of redistributive politics," Economic Theory, Springer, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 95-124, 05.
  9. Juan G. Rodríguez & Rafael Salas, . "Extended Bi-Polarization And Inequality Measures," Working Papers, Instituto de Estudios Fiscales 10-03 Classification-JEL , Instituto de Estudios Fiscales.
  10. Lizzeri, Alessandro, 1999. "Budget Deficits and Redistributive Politics," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(4), pages 909-28, October.
  11. Clark, Derek J. & Riis, Christian, 2000. "Allocation efficiency in a competitive bribery game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 109-124, May.
  12. Laslier, Jean-Francois & Picard, Nathalie, 2002. "Distributive Politics and Electoral Competition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 106-130, March.
  13. Wang, You-Qiang & Tsui, Kai-Yuen, 2000. " Polarization Orderings and New Classes of Polarization Indices," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 2(3), pages 349-63.
  14. A. Lizzeri & Persico N., 1999. "Provision of Public Goods Under Alternative Electral Incentives," Princeton Economic Theory Papers, Economics Department, Princeton University 99f4, Economics Department, Princeton University.
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Cited by:
  1. Kovenock, Dan & Roberson, Brian, 2008. "Inefficient redistribution and inefficient redistributive politics," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Processes and Governance, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) SP II 2008-01, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  2. Dan Kovenock J. & Brian Roberson, 2009. "Non-Partisan 'Get-Out-the-Vote' Efforts and Policy Outcomes," CESifo Working Paper Series, CESifo Group Munich 2815, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Crutzen, Benoît S.Y. & Sahuguet, Nicolas, 2009. "Redistributive politics with distortionary taxation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 144(1), pages 264-279, January.
  4. Kovenock, Dan & Roberson, Brian, 2008. "Is the 50-state strategy optimal?," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Processes and Governance, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) SP II 2008-16, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).

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