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Party competition in a heterogeneous electorate – the role of dominant-issue-voters

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  • Bischoff, Ivo

Abstract

This paper provides a theoretical model of party competition in a heterogeneous electorate. The latter consists of numerous groups of dominant-issue-voters who base their voting decision primarily on one issue of the political agenda. Parties follow a lexicographic objective function, aiming to gain power at minimum programmatic concessions. The emerging pattern of movement in policy platforms is fundamentally different to the concept of convergence proposed by the spatial theory of voting. Rather than the centre of the scale of policy preference, its extreme ends, occupied by dominant-issue-voters, attract the policy platforms. The difference in policy platforms is not reduced. The conclusions are found to be compatible with some major empirical findings of the Manifesto Research Group. --

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Justus Liebig University Giessen, Fachbereich Wirtschaftswissenschaften in its series Finanzwissenschaftliche Arbeitspapiere with number 68.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:jlufwa:68

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Keywords: voters; incomplete information; political parties; convergence;

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  1. McKelvey, Richard D., 1976. "Intransitivities in multidimensional voting models and some implications for agenda control," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 472-482, June.
  2. Orr, Larry L, 1976. "Income Transfers as a Public Good: An Application to AFDC," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(3), pages 359-71, June.
  3. Galeotti, Gianluigi & Breton, Albert, 1986. "An Economic Theory of Political Parties," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(1), pages 47-65.
  4. Ansolabehere, Stephen & Snyder, James M, Jr, 2000. " Valence Politics and Equilibrium in Spatial Election Models," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 103(3-4), pages 327-36, June.
  5. Robert Inman, 1978. "Testing political economy’s ‘as if’ proposition: is the median income voter really decisive?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 33(4), pages 45-65, December.
  6. Fain, James & Dworkin, James B, 1993. " Determinants of Voter Participation: Some Simulation Results," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 77(4), pages 823-34, December.
  7. Alesina, Alberto, 1988. "Credibility and Policy Convergence in a Two-Party System with Rational Voters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 796-805, September.
  8. Jones, Philip R & Hudson, John, 1998. " The Role of Political Parties: An Analysis Based on Transaction Costs," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 94(1-2), pages 175-89, January.
  9. Coughlin, Peter J & Mueller, Dennis C & Murrell, Peter, 1990. "Electoral Politics, Interest Groups, and the Size of Government," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 28(4), pages 682-705, October.
  10. Palfrey, Thomas R, 1984. "Spatial Equilibrium with Entry," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(1), pages 139-56, January.
  11. Roger Congleton, 2001. "Rational Ignorance, Rational Voter Expectations, and Public Policy: A Discrete Informational Foundation for Fiscal Illusion," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 107(1), pages 35-64, April.
  12. Kalt, Joseph P & Zupan, Mark A, 1984. "Capture and Ideology in the Economic Theory of Politics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 279-300, June.
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