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Why Party Leaders Are More Extreme Than Their Members: Modeling Sequential Elimination Elections in the U.S. House of Representatives


  • McGann, A J
  • Grofman, Bernard
  • Koetzle, W


Grofman et al. (forthcoming) find that party leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives tend to be more extreme than the median member of their party, and that they tend to come from the party's ideological "heartland" between the median and the mode. This paper shows that if the distribution of preferences is skewed (as is the case with both parties in the House), then we should expect sequential elimination elections to choose on average leaders between the median and modal positions. We show that this is the case whether or not the party is factionalized. Copyright 2002 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Suggested Citation

  • McGann, A J & Grofman, Bernard & Koetzle, W, 2002. "Why Party Leaders Are More Extreme Than Their Members: Modeling Sequential Elimination Elections in the U.S. House of Representatives," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 113(3-4), pages 337-356, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:113:y:2002:i:3-4:p:337-56

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Nti, Kofi O, 1999. "Rent-Seeking with Asymmetric Valuations," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 98(3-4), pages 415-430, March.
    2. Dan Kovenock & Michael R. Baye & Casper G. de Vries, 1996. "The all-pay auction with complete information (*)," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 8(2), pages 291-305.
    3. David A. Malueg & Andrew J. Yates, 2004. "Sent Seeking With Private Values," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 119(1_2), pages 161-178, April.
    4. Myerson, Roger B. & Satterthwaite, Mark A., 1983. "Efficient mechanisms for bilateral trading," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 265-281, April.
    5. Isa Hafalir & Vijay Krishna, 2008. "Asymmetric Auctions with Resale," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 87-112, March.
    6. Arye L. Hillman & John G. Riley, 1989. "Politically Contestable Rents And Transfers," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(1), pages 17-39, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hamlin, Alan & Jennings, Colin, 2007. "Leadership and conflict," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 49-68, September.

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