The Role of Political Parties: An Analysis Based on Transaction Costs
This paper explores the proposition that political parties reduce the transaction costs of electoral participation. Political parties provide a low cost signal of a candidate's policies and personal characteristics and, in this way, reduce voters' information costs. With reference to 'transaction cost economics,' political parties offer an 'implicit contract' between voters and politicians and thereby reduce the scope for opportunism by politicians. This impact on transaction costs is important in any evaluation of public policy towards political parties. Copyright 1998 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
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