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Polarization, Information Collection and Electoral Control

  • Silvia Dominguez-Martinez

    ()

  • Otto Swank

This discussion paper led to a publication in 'Social Choice and Welfare', 2006, 26, 527-545. We identify the conditions under which voters can induce political parties to collect information and to select policies which are optimal from the representative voter’s point of view. We show that when parties are office motivated the voting rule should encourage parties to collect information. Voting rules that focus on the opposition party sometimes dominate voting rules that focus on the incumbent party. When parties are policy motivated, they also have to be motivated to select good policies. Generally, it is easier to stimulate policy motivated parties than office motivated parties to collect information. However, in contrast to office motivated parties, policy motivated parties will sometimes select policies that conflict with the representative voter’s interest. This discussion paper has resulted in a publication in the 'Social Choice and Welfare' . (26(3), 527-45.)

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00355-006-0105-3
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Article provided by Springer & The Society for Social Choice and Welfare in its journal Social Choice and Welfare.

Volume (Year): 26 (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Pages: 527-545

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Handle: RePEc:spr:sochwe:v:26:y:2006:i:3:p:527-545
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  1. : Christian Schultz, . "Polarization and Inefficient Policies," Discussion Papers 93-16, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  2. Klaas J. Beniers, 2004. "On the Composition of Committees," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(2), pages 353-378, October.
  3. Wittman, Donald, 1977. "Candidates with policy preferences: A dynamic model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 180-189, February.
  4. Robert Dur & Otto H. Swank, 2003. "Producing and Manipulating Information," CESifo Working Paper Series 908, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Schultz, Christian, 1999. "Monetary Policy, Delegation and Polarisation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(455), pages 164-78, April.
  6. Otto H. Swank & Bauke Visser, 2003. "Do Elections lead to Informed Public Decisions?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 03-067/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  7. Roger B. Myerson, 1995. "Analysis of Democratic Institutions: Structure, Conduct and Performance," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(1), pages 77-89, Winter.
  8. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
  9. Edward P. Lazear & Sherwin Rosen, 1979. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," NBER Working Papers 0401, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Klaas J. Beniers & Otto H. Swank, 2003. "On the Composition of Committees," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 03-006/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  11. Ossokina, Ioulia V. & Swank, Otto H., 2004. "The optimal degree of polarization," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 255-262, March.
  12. Mueller,Dennis C., 2003. "Public Choice III," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521894753, November.
  13. 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.
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