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Political Cycles : Issue Ownership and the Opposition Advantage

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  • Gautier, P.
  • Soubeyran, R.

Abstract

We propose a two dimensional infinite horizon model of public consumption in which investments are decided by a winner-take-all election. Investments in the two public goods create a linkage across periods. We follow the idea of issue ownership introduced by Petrocik (1996) in considering parties with different specialties. We show that the incumbent party vote share decreases the longer it stays in power. The median voter is generally not indifferent between the two parties and, when she is moderate enough, no party can maintain itself in power for ever. This result holds when the parties' main objective is to win the election and is compatible with a large range of candidates sub-objectives, that may change from one election to the next. Finally, the more parties are specialized and the more public policies have long-term effects, the more political cycles are likely to occur. ...French Abstract : Nous proposons un modèle de consommation publique à horizon infini. Les investissements engagés dans la fourniture de deux biens publics sont déterminés par les élections. Ces investissements créent un lien entre les élections successives. Nous suivons l'idée introduite par Petrocik (1996) selon laquelle les partis "possèdent" certains thèmes, en considérant qu'ils ont des spécialités différentes. Nous montrons que la part des voix du parti au pouvoir décroît entre deux élections. L'électeur médian n'est généralement pas indifférent entre les deux partis et, lorsqu'il est suffisamment modéré, aucun parti ne peut se maintenir indéfiniment au pouvoir. Ce résultat est valide lorsque l'objectif principal des partis est de gagner l'élection et est compatible avec un grand ensemble de sous objectifs, qui peuvent changer d'une élection à l'autre. Finalement, plus les partis sont spécialisés et plus les politiques ont des effets de long terme, plus les cycles politiques sont susceptibles d'apparaître.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by UMR MOISA : Marchés, Organisations, Institutions et Stratégies d'Acteurs : CIHEAM-IAMM, CIRAD, INRA, Montpellier SupAgro, IRD - Montpellier, France in its series Working Papers MOISA with number 200613.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:umr:wpaper:200613

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Keywords: CYCLES; ALTERNATION; ISSUE OWNERSHIP; PUBLIC GOODS; OPPOSITION;

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Cited by:
  1. Stefan Krasa & Mattias Polborn, 2010. "Competition between Specialized Candidates," CESifo Working Paper Series 2930, CESifo Group Munich.

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