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Reciprocity and voting

  • Hahn, Volker

In this paper we present a two-period model where a left-wing and a right-wing political party are solely interested in the policies they pursue. We assume that voters display reciprocal behavior. By contrast, political parties are not motivated by reciprocity. We show that reciprocity may have dramatic consequences for models of voting behavior. The incentive to be kind to the median voter may ensure that a position closer to the median voter's position is adopted even if political parties are not directly interested in being elected and cannot commit to a political stance during an election campaign. Moreover, reciprocity increases incumbency advantages.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Games and Economic Behavior.

Volume (Year): 67 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (November)
Pages: 467-480

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Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:67:y:2009:i:2:p:467-480
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622836

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  1. Margin Dufwenberg & Georg Kirchsteiger, 2001. "A Theory of Sequential Reciprocity," Levine's Working Paper Archive 563824000000000090, David K. Levine.
  2. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
  3. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, . "A Theory of Fairness, Competition and Cooperation," IEW - Working Papers 004, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  4. Falk, Armin & Fischbacher, Urs, 2006. "A theory of reciprocity," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 293-315, February.
  5. Volker Hahn, 2007. "Fairness and voting," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 28(4), pages 607-607, June.
  6. Banks, Jeffrey S., 1990. "A model of electoral competition with incomplete information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 309-325, April.
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  8. Battigalli, Pierpaolo & Dufwenberg, Martin, 2009. "Dynamic psychological games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(1), pages 1-35, January.
  9. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
  10. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard, 1986. "Fairness as a Constraint on Profit Seeking: Entitlements in the Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 728-41, September.
  11. Torsten Persson & Gerard Roland & Guido Tabellini, . "Separation of Powers and Political Accountability," Working Papers 100, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  12. M. Rabin, 2001. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," Levine's Working Paper Archive 511, David K. Levine.
  13. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135.
  14. Dufwenberg, Martin & Kirchsteiger, Georg, 2000. "Reciprocity and wage undercutting," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(4-6), pages 1069-1078, May.
  15. Akerlof, George A, 1982. "Labor Contracts as Partial Gift Exchange," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 97(4), pages 543-69, November.
  16. Geanakoplos, John & Pearce, David & Stacchetti, Ennio, 1989. "Psychological games and sequential rationality," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 60-79, March.
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