What do Candidates Maximize (and Why Should Anyone Care)?
Much empirical work on Congressional elections implicitly assumes that candidates are vote-maximizers; this may be a fair assumption for challengers, but it is not a good description of incumbent behavior. I present a general intertemporal utility maximizing model of candidate behavior, which includes vote-maximization as a special case. I then demonstrate that these models have important consequences for both the design and interpretation of empirical work. Copyright 2001 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
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