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The binary policy model

Listed author(s):
  • Krasa, Stefan
  • Polborn, Mattias

We introduce a model of electoral competition with office-motivated candidates who are exogenously committed to particular positions on some issues, while they choose positions for the remaining issues. A position is majority-efficient if a candidate cannot make a majority of the electorate better off, given his fixed positions. We characterize existence conditions for majority-efficient positions. The candidates' fixed positions in our framework imply that only some voters are "swing voters," and we analyze how the distribution of swing voters determines whether candidates choose majority-efficient positions. We also analyze plurality and runoff elections with multiple candidates in our framework.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022-0531(09)00147-1
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Theory.

Volume (Year): 145 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
Pages: 661-688

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:145:y:2010:i:2:p:661-688
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622869

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  1. Assar Lindbeck & Jörgen Weibull, 1987. "Balanced-budget redistribution as the outcome of political competition," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 52(3), pages 273-297, January.
  2. Aragones, Enriqueta & Palfrey, Thomas. R., 2000. "Mixed Equilibrium in a Downsian Model With a Favored Candidate," Working Papers 1102, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  3. Lindbeck, Assar & Weibull, Jorgen W., 1993. "A model of political equilibrium in a representative democracy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 195-209, June.
  4. Micael Castanheira De Moura, 2003. "Why vote for losers?," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/10005, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
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  7. Krasa, Stefan & Polborn, Mattias K., 2012. "Political competition between differentiated candidates," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 249-271.
  8. Martin J. Osborne & Al Slivinski, 1996. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(1), pages 65-96.
  9. Tim Besley & Stephen Coate, "undated". "An Economic Model of Representative Democracy," Penn CARESS Working Papers ecf70d639d700dba5327ab0c8, Penn Economics Department.
  10. Thomas R. Palfrey, 1984. "Spatial Equilibrium with Entry," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(1), pages 139-156.
  11. Steven Callander, 2005. "Electoral Competition in Heterogeneous Districts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(5), pages 1116-1145, October.
  12. Sendhil Mullainathan & Joshua Schwartzstein & Andrei Shleifer, 2008. "Coarse Thinking and Persuasion," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(2), pages 577-619.
  13. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135-135.
  14. Martinelli, Cesar, 2001. "Elections with Privately Informed Parties and Voters," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 108(1-2), pages 147-167, July.
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