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Signaling Through Political Campaigns: Elections As A Revelation Mechanism

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  • Costas Roumanias

Abstract

Political campaigns are usually seen either as a way of passing information about candidates' intended policies to the voters or as a political liability of the candidates towards the interest groups that finance them. We provide a different interpretation of political campaigns using a political competition model for campaign promises and spending. In a principal-agent framework, elections are shown to be a truth revelation mechanism, in which the principal (voters) induces truthful revelation of ability by the agent (candidates). Campaign promises and spending coexist as an integral part of this mechanism. Political competition is then derived endogenously. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2005.

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  • Costas Roumanias, 2005. "Signaling Through Political Campaigns: Elections As A Revelation Mechanism," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(3), pages 367-392, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecopol:v:17:y:2005:i:3:p:367-392
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    1. Le Borgne, Eric & Lockwood, Ben, 2000. "Candidate Entry, Screening, and the Political Budget Cycle," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 582, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    2. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135-135.
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    Cited by:

    1. Martin Gregor & Dalibor Roháč, 2009. "The Optimal State Aid Control: No Control," Czech Economic Review, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, vol. 3(1), pages 093-113, March.
    2. Costas Roumanias, 2008. "Auctioning Public Office," Discussion Paper Series 2008_08, Department of Economics, University of Macedonia, revised Sep 2008.

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