Policy platforms, campaign spending and voter participation
We model electoral competition between two parties in a winner-take-all election. Parties choose strategically first their platforms and then their campaign spending under aggregate uncertainty about voters' preferences. We use the model to examine why campaign spending in the United States has increased at the same time that politics has become more polarized. We find that a popular explanation -- more accurate targeting of campaign spending -- is not consistent. While accurate targeting may lead to greater spending, it also leads to less polarization. We argue that a better explanation is that voters preferences have become more volatile from the point of view of parties at the moment of choosing policy positions. This both raises campaign spending and increases polarization. It is also consistent with the observation that voters have become less committed to the two parties.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Jackson, Matthew O. & Dekel, Eddie & Wolinsky, Asher, 2005.
1215, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
- Christian Schultz, 2003.
"Strategic Campaigns and Redistributive Politics,"
CESifo Working Paper Series
858, CESifo Group Munich.
- Assar Lindbeck & Jörgen Weibull, 1987. "Balanced-budget redistribution as the outcome of political competition," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 52(3), pages 273-297, January.
- Prat, A., 1997.
"Campaign Advertising and Voter Welfare,"
1997-118, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
- Barry Nalebuff & Ron Shachar, 1999.
"Follow the Leader: Theory and Evidence on Political Participation,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 525-547, June.
- Barry Nalebuff & Roni Shachar, 1997. "Follow The Leader: Theory And Evidence On Political Participation," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm57, Yale School of Management.
- Enriqueta Aragones & Zvika Neeman, 1994.
"Strategic Ambiguity in Electoral Competition,"
1083, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- David Austen-Smith, 1987. "Interest groups, campaign contributions, and probabilistic voting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 54(2), pages 123-139, January.
- 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.
- Stephen Coate, 2004.
"Political Competition with Campaign Contributions and Informative Advertising,"
Journal of the European Economic Association,
MIT Press, vol. 2(5), pages 772-804, 09.
- Stephen Coate, 2001. "Political Competition with Campaign Contributions and Informative Advertising," NBER Working Papers 8693, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:92:y:2008:i:3-4:p:501-513. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.