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On the benefits of party competition

Author

Listed:
  • Bernhardt, Dan
  • Campuzano, Larissa
  • Squintani, Francesco
  • Câmara, Odilon

Abstract

We study the role of parties in a citizen-candidate repeated-elections model in which voters have incomplete information. We first identify a novel "party competition effect" in a setting with two opposing parties. Compared with "at large" selection of candidates, party selection makes office-holders more willing to avoid extreme ideological stands, and this benefits voters of all ideologies. We then allow for additional parties. With strategic voting, citizens benefit most when the only two parties receiving votes are more moderate. With sincere voting, even with three parties, extreme parties can thrive at the expense of a middle party; and whether most citizens prefer two or three parties varies with model parameters.

Suggested Citation

  • Bernhardt, Dan & Campuzano, Larissa & Squintani, Francesco & Câmara, Odilon, 2009. "On the benefits of party competition," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 685-707, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:66:y:2009:i:2:p:685-707
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Francesco Squintani, 2012. "Introduction to the symposium in political economy," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), pages 513-519.
    2. John Duggan & Cesar Martinelli, 2015. "The Political Economy of Dynamic Elections: A Survey and Some New Results," Working Papers 1056, George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science.
    3. Câmara, Odilon & Bernhardt, Dan, 2015. "Learning about challengers," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, pages 181-206.
    4. Forand, Jean Guillaume, 2014. "Two-party competition with persistent policies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, pages 64-91.
    5. Jean Guillaume Forand, 2010. "Two-Party Competition with Persistent Policies," Working Papers 1011, University of Waterloo, Department of Economics, revised Nov 2010.
    6. Javier Rivas, 2016. "Private agenda and re-election incentives," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, pages 899-915.
    7. Richard Weelden, 2015. "The welfare implications of electoral polarization," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 45(4), pages 653-686, December.
    8. John Duggan & Cesar Martinelli, 2008. "The Role of Media Slant in Elections and Economics," Working Papers 0802, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM.
    9. Banks, Jeffrey S. & Duggan, John, 2008. "A Dynamic Model of Democratic Elections in Multidimensional Policy Spaces," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, pages 269-299.
    10. Jean Guillaume Forand & John Duggan, 2013. "Markovian Elections," Working Papers 1305, University of Waterloo, Department of Economics, revised Oct 2013.
    11. Kalandrakis, Tasos, 2015. "Computation of equilibrium values in the Baron and Ferejohn bargaining model," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 29-38.
    12. César Martinelli & John Duggan, 2014. "The Political Economy of Dynamic Elections: A Survey and Some New Results," Working Papers 1403, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM.
    13. Motz, Nicolas, 2016. "How Political Parties Shape Electoral Competition," MPRA Paper 69351, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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