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Candidate Entry, Screening, and the Political Budget Cycle

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  • Le Borgne, Eric

    (IMF)

  • Lockwood, Ben

    (Department of Economics, University of Warwick)

Abstract

We investigate whether relevant private information about citizens’ competence in political office can be credibly revealed by their entry and campaign expenditure decisions, as opposed to choice of policy once in office. We find that this depends on whether voters and candidates have common or conflicting interests ; only in the former case can entry be revealing in equilibrium. We apply these results to Rogoff’s (1990) model of the political budget cycle, allowing for candidate entry, as well as elections : as interests are common, low-ability candidates are screened out at the entry stage, and so there is no signaling via fiscal policy (i.e. no “political budget cycle”). In a variant of the Rogoff model where citizens differ in honesty, rather than ability, interests are conflicting, and so the political budget cycle can persist in equilibrium.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Warwick, Department of Economics in its series The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) with number 582.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:582

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Keywords: Asymmetric Information ; Citizen-Candidate ; Representative Democracy ; Signaling Games ; Political Budget Cycles;

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References

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  1. Leonardo Bartolini & Allan Drazen, 1996. "Capital account liberalization as a signal," Staff Reports 11, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  2. Cukierman, Alex & Tommasi, Mariano, 1998. "When Does It Take a Nixon to Go to China?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 180-97, March.
  3. Andrea Prat, 2002. "Campaign Advertising and Voter Welfare," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(4), pages 999-1017.
  4. Dhillon, A. & Lockwood, B., 1999. "When are Plurality Rule Voting Games Dominance-Solvable?," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 549, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  5. Milyo, Jeffrey & Groseclose, Timothy, 1999. "The Electoral Effects of Incumbent Wealth," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 42(2), pages 699-722, October.
  6. Timothy Besley & Anne Case, 1993. "Does Electoral Accountability Affect Economic Policy Choices? Evidence from Gubernatorial Term Limits," NBER Working Papers 4575, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. In-Koo Cho & David M. Kreps, 1997. "Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria," Levine's Working Paper Archive 896, David K. Levine.
  8. Martin J. Osborne & Al Slivinksi, 1995. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," Department of Economics Working Papers 1995-01, McMaster University.
  9. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1997. "An Economic Model of Representative Democracy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 85-114, February.
  10. Coate, Stephen & Morris, Stephen, 1995. "On the Form of Transfers in Special Interests," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1210-35, December.
  11. Wittman, Donald, 1989. "Why Democracies Produce Efficient Results," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1395-1424, December.
  12. Harrington, Joseph E, Jr, 1993. "Economic Policy, Economic Performance, and Elections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 27-42, March.
  13. Besley, Timothy J. & Smart, Michael, 2002. "Does Tax Competition Raise Voter Welfare?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3131, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Hess, Gregory D & Orphanides, Athanasios, 1995. "War Politics: An Economic, Rational-Voter Framework," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 828-46, September.
  15. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Klaas J. Beniers & Robert Dur, 2004. "Politicians’ Motivation, Political Culture, and Electoral Competition," CESifo Working Paper Series 1228, CESifo Group Munich.

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