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The good, the bad and the populist: A model of political agency with emotional voters

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  • Jennings, Colin

Abstract

This paper extends the political agency approach to an environment in which voting is categorised into informed and instrumental, informed and ‘expressive’, and uninformed due to ‘rational irrationality’. Politicians may be “good”, “bad”, or “populist”. Initially the existence of only good and populist politicians is assumed: the incentives for good politicians to pool with or separate from populists are investigated and the implications for voter welfare are explored. Then the consequences of the inclusion of bad politicians are considered. The paper makes three main contributions. First, I provide a rational choice analysis of populism as populism is commonly understood. Second, I locate a potential role for government as a persuasive provider of information regarding the quality of policy. Third, when bad politicians are added to the analysis, it is shown that a little potential corruption can improve voter welfare.

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  • Jennings, Colin, 2011. "The good, the bad and the populist: A model of political agency with emotional voters," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 611-624.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:27:y:2011:i:4:p:611-624 DOI: 10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2011.03.005
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Schnellenbach, Jan & Schubert, Christian, 2015. "Behavioral political economy: A survey," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 40(PB), pages 395-417.
    2. Leon, Gabriel, 2014. "Strategic redistribution: The political economy of populism in Latin America," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 39-51.
    3. Felix Arnold, 2013. "German MPs' Outside Jobs and Their Repercussions on Parliamentary Effort," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1340, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    4. Kräkel, Matthias & Nieken, Petra & Przemeck, Judith, 2014. "Risk taking and investing in electoral competition," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 98-120.
    5. Costas-Pérez, Elena & Solé-Ollé, Albert & Sorribas-Navarro, Pilar, 2012. "Corruption scandals, voter information, and accountability," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 469-484.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Political agency; Expressive voting; Rational irrationality; Democratic inefficiency; Populism;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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