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Pandering, Faith and Electoral Competition

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  • Gabriele Gratton

    ()
    (School of Economics, The University of New South Wales)

Abstract

This paper investigates a common criticism of competitive elections: candidates pander to voters and choose the most popular platform, regardless of it being optimal for the voters. I study an election with two perfectly informed candidates. Voters share common values over the policy outcome of the election, but possess arbitrarily little information about which policy is best for them. Voters elect one of the candidates, effectively choosing between the two policies proposed by the candidates. The model is extended to include strategic voting, policy-motivated or imperfectly informed candidates, and heterogeneous preferences.

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File URL: http://research.economics.unsw.edu.au/RePEc/papers/2012-22.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by School of Economics, The University of New South Wales in its series Discussion Papers with number 2012-22.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:swe:wpaper:2012-22

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Keywords: pandering; information aggregation; elections; Downsian candidates.;

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References

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  1. Eric Maskin & Jean Tirole, 2004. "The Politician and the Judge: Accountability in Government," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 1034-1054, September.
  2. Myerson, Roger B., 2000. "Large Poisson Games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 7-45, September.
  3. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135.
  4. Austen-Smith David, 1993. "Interested Experts and Policy Advice: Multiple Referrals under Open Rule," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 3-43, January.
  5. Stephen Morris, 2001. "Political Correctness," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(2), pages 231-265, April.
  6. Vijay Krishna & John Morgan, 2010. "Overcoming Ideological Bias in Elections," NajEcon Working Paper Reviews 814577000000000498, www.najecon.org.
  7. Callander, Steven & Wilkie, Simon, 2007. "Lies, damned lies, and political campaigns," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 262-286, August.
  8. Paul Heidhues & Johan Lagerlöf, 2000. "Hiding Information in Electoral Competition," CIG Working Papers FS IV 00-06, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG), revised Feb 2002.
  9. Harrington, Joseph E, Jr, 1993. "Economic Policy, Economic Performance, and Elections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 27-42, March.
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