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The role of political parties: An analysis based on transaction costs

  • Philip Jones
  • John Hudson

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 Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998

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Article provided by Springer in its journal Public Choice.

Volume (Year): 94 (1998)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 175-189

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Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:94:y:1998:i:1:p:175-189
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  1. Levitt, Steven D, 1994. "Using Repeat Challengers to Estimate the Effect of Campaign Spending on Election Outcomes in the U.S. House," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(4), pages 777-98, August.
  2. Schram, Arthur & Sonnemans, Joep, 1996. "Why people vote: Experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 417-442, August.
  3. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521348911 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. George J. Stigler, 1961. "The Economics of Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 69, pages 213.
  5. Jones, Philip & Hudson, John, 1996. "Standardization and the costs of assessing quality," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 355-361, September.
  6. Wittman, Donald, 1989. "Why Democracies Produce Efficient Results," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1395-1424, December.
  7. Maute, Manfred F. & Forrester, William Jr., 1991. "The effect of attribute qualities on consumer decision making: a causal model of external information search," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 643-666, December.
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