IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/oup/qjecon/v120y2005i4p1283-1330..html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Strategic Extremism: Why Republicans and Democrats Divide on Religious Values

Author

Listed:
  • Edward L. Glaeser
  • Giacomo A. M. Ponzetto
  • Jesse M. Shapiro

Abstract

Party platforms differ sharply from one another, especially on issues with religious content, such as abortion or gay marriage. Given the high return to attracting the median voter, why do vote-maximizing politicians take extreme positions? In this paper we find that strategic extremism depends on an intensive margin where politicians want to induce their core constituents to vote (or make donations) and the ability to target political messages toward those core constituents. Our model predicts that the political relevance of religious issues is highest when around one-half of the voting population attends church regularly. Using data from across the world and within the United States, we indeed find a nonmonotonic relationship between religious extremism and religious attendance.

Suggested Citation

  • Edward L. Glaeser & Giacomo A. M. Ponzetto & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2005. "Strategic Extremism: Why Republicans and Democrats Divide on Religious Values," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(4), pages 1283-1330.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:120:y:2005:i:4:p:1283-1330.
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1162/003355305775097533
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. David Blanchflower, 1996. "The Role and Influence of Trade Unions in the OECD," CEP Discussion Papers dp0310, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    2. Barry T. Hirsch & David A. MacPherson, 2003. "Union Membership and Coverage Database from the Current Population Survey: Note," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(2), pages 349-354, January.
    3. Dixit, Avinash & Londregan, John, 1995. "Redistributive Politics and Economic Efficiency," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 89(4), pages 856-866, December.
    4. Irmen, Andreas & Thisse, Jacques-Francois, 1998. "Competition in Multi-characteristics Spaces: Hotelling Was Almost Right," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 76-102, January.
    5. Richard B. Freeman, 1998. "Spurts in Union Growth: Defining Moments and Social Processes," NBER Chapters, in: The Defining Moment: The Great Depression and the American Economy in the Twentieth Century, pages 265-296, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135-135.
    7. Sendhil Mullainathan & Andrei Shleifer, 2005. "The Market for News," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1031-1053, September.
    8. Michael D. Bordo & Claudia Goldin & Eugene N. White, 1998. "The Defining Moment: The Great Depression and the American Economy in the Twentieth Century," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bord98-1, March.
    9. Kevin M. Murphy & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "Persuasion in Politics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 435-439, May.
    10. Gary S. Becker, 1983. "A Theory of Competition Among Pressure Groups for Political Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(3), pages 371-400.
    11. Alesina, Alberto, 1988. "Credibility and Policy Convergence in a Two-Party System with Rational Voters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 796-805, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 2002. "Political economics and public finance," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 24, pages 1549-1659, Elsevier.
    2. Benoît Le Maux, 2009. "Governmental behavior in representative democracy: a synthesis of the theoretical literature," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 141(3), pages 447-465, December.
    3. Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse M. Shapiro & Michael Sinkinson, 2014. "Competition and Ideological Diversity: Historical Evidence from US Newspapers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(10), pages 3073-3114, October.
    4. Serena Marianna Drufuca, 2014. "Information, Media and Elections: Incentives for Media Capture," Working Papers (2013-) 1402, University of Bergamo, Department of Management, Economics and Quantitative Methods.
    5. Stadelmann, David & Torrens, Gustavo, 2020. "Who is the ultimate boss of legislators: Voters, special interest groups or parties?," VfS Annual Conference 2020 (Virtual Conference): Gender Economics 224562, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    6. David Card & Thomas Lemieux & W. Craig Riddell, 2003. "Unionization and Wage Inequality: A Comparative Study of the U.S, the U.K., and Canada," NBER Working Papers 9473, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Przeworski, Adam & Rivero, Gonzalo & Xi, Tianyang, 2015. "Elections as a conflict processing mechanism," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 235-248.
    8. Roger D. Congleton & Yang Zhou, 2019. "A test of the institutionally-induced equilibrium hypothesis: on the limited fiscal impact of two celebrity governors," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 103-128, June.
    9. Thomas J. Holmes, 2006. "Geographic Spillover of Unionism," NBER Working Papers 12025, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Hill, Andrew J. & Jones, Daniel B., 2017. "Does partisan affiliation impact the distribution of spending? Evidence from state governments’ expenditures on education," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 143(C), pages 58-77.
    11. Micael Castanheira, 2003. "Why Vote For Losers?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(5), pages 1207-1238, September.
    12. Hanaki, Nobuyuki & Tanimura, Emily & Vriend, Nicolaas J., 2019. "The Principle of Minimum Differentiation revisited: Return of the median voter," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 157(C), pages 145-170.
    13. Alessandro Olper & Johan Swinnen, 2013. "Mass Media and Public Policy: Global Evidence from Agricultural Policies," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 27(3), pages 413-436.
    14. Sugat Chaturvedi & Sabyasachi Das & Kanika Mahajan, 2021. "The Importance of being Earnest: What Explains the Gender Quota Effect in Politics?," Working Papers 52, Ashoka University, Department of Economics.
    15. Robbett, Andrea & Matthews, Peter Hans, 2018. "Partisan bias and expressive voting," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 157(C), pages 107-120.
    16. Deniz O Igan & Thomas Lambert, 2019. "Bank Lobbying: Regulatory Capture and Beyond," IMF Working Papers 2019/171, International Monetary Fund.
    17. Hanaki, Nobuyuki & Tanimura, Emily & Vriend, Nicolaas J., 2019. "The Principle of Minimum Differentiation revisited: Return of the median voter," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 157(C), pages 145-170.
    18. Marcin Kalinowski, 2005. "Ekonomiczne przesłanki lobbingu w świetle teorii public choice," Gospodarka Narodowa. The Polish Journal of Economics, Warsaw School of Economics, issue 7-8, pages 29-44.
    19. Chan, Jimmy & Suen, Wing, 2009. "Media as watchdogs: The role of news media in electoral competition," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(7), pages 799-814, October.
    20. Author-Name: Alan S. Blinder & Alan B. Krueger, 2004. "What Does the Public Know about Economic Policy, and How Does It Know It?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 35(1), pages 327-397.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:120:y:2005:i:4:p:1283-1330.. 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: (Oxford University Press) The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask Oxford University Press to update the entry or send us the correct email address or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.