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Identification of voters with interest groups improves the electoral chances of the challenger


  • Sadiraj, Vjollca
  • Tuinstra, Jan
  • van Winden, Frans


This short paper investigates the consequences of voters identifying with special interest groups in a spatial model of electoral competition. We show that by effectively coordinating voting behavior, identification with interest groups leads to an increase in the size of the winning set, that is, the set of policy platforms for the challenger that will defeat the incumbent. Consequently, our paper points at a novel process through which interest groups can enhance the electoral chances of a challenger.

Suggested Citation

  • Sadiraj, Vjollca & Tuinstra, Jan & van Winden, Frans, 2010. "Identification of voters with interest groups improves the electoral chances of the challenger," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 210-216, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:matsoc:v:60:y:2010:i:3:p:210-216

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Vjollca Sadiraj & Jan Tuinstra & Frans Winden, 2006. "A computational electoral competition model with social clustering and endogenous interest groups as information brokers," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 129(1), pages 169-187, October.
    2. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics and Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753.
    3. Weingast, Barry R. & Wittman, Donald, 2008. "The Oxford Handbook of Political Economy," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199548477.
    4. Potters, Jan & Sloof, Randolph, 1996. "Interest groups: A survey of empirical models that try to assess their influence," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 403-442, November.
    5. Paul M. Romer, 1996. "Preferences, Promises, and the Politics of Entitlement," NBER Chapters,in: Individual and Social Responsibility: Child Care, Education, Medical Care, and Long-Term Care in America, pages 195-228 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Kramer, Gerald H., 1977. "A dynamical model of political equilibrium," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 310-334, December.
    7. repec:cup:apsrev:v:97:y:2003:i:01:p:107-121_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Vjollca Sadiraj & Jan Tuinstra & Frans Winden, 2005. "Interest group size dynamics and policymaking," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 125(3), pages 271-303, December.
    9. Schram, Arthur & Sonnemans, Joep, 1996. "Voter Turnout as a Participation Game: An Experimental Investigation," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 25(3), pages 385-406.
    10. Tovey, Craig A., 2010. "A critique of distributional analysis in the spatial model," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 88-101, January.
    11. repec:cup:apsrev:v:103:y:2009:i:02:p:147-174_09 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Offerman, Theo, 2002. "Hurting hurts more than helping helps," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(8), pages 1423-1437, September.
    13. repec:cup:apsrev:v:86:y:1992:i:04:p:929-937_09 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Tuinstra, Jan & Wegener, Michael & Westerhoff, Frank, 2014. "Positive welfare effects of trade barriers in a dynamic partial equilibrium model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 246-264.
    2. Manjhi, Ganesh & Mehra, Meeta Keswani, 2017. "Dynamics of the Economics of Special Interest Politics," Working Papers 17/206, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy.

    More about this item


    Spatial voting models Electoral competition Winning set Interest groups;

    JEL classification:

    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior


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