Electoral Competition through Issue Selection
Politics must tackle multiple issues at once. In a first-best world, political competition constrains parties to prioritize issues according to the voters' true concerns. In the real world, the opposite also happens: parties manipulate voter priorities by emphasizing issues selectively during the political campaign. This phenomenon, known as priming, should allow parties to pay less attention to the issues that they intend to mute. We develop a model of endogenous issue ownership in which two vote-seeking parties (i) invest to attract voters with "better" policy proposals and (ii) choose a communication campaign to focus voter attention on specific issues. We identify novel feedbacks between communication and investment. In particular, we find that stronger priming effects can backfire by constraining parties to invest more resources in all issues, including the ones they would otherwise intend to mute. We also identify under which conditions parties prefer to focus on their "historical issues" or to engage in issue stealing. Typically, the latter happens when priming effects are strong, and historical reputations differentiates parties less.
|Date of creation:||12 Jun 2012|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: 34 93 592 1203
Fax: +34 93 542-1223
Web page: http://pareto.uab.cat
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Aragonès, Enriqueta & Sánchez-Pagés, Santiago, 2010.
"The disadvantage of winning an election,"
SIRE Discussion Papers
2010-21, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
- Enriqueta Aragonès & Santiago Sánchez-Pagés, 2010. "The Disadvantage of Winning an Election," Working Papers 439, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
- Enriqueta Aragonès & Santiago Sánchez-Pagés, 2010. "The disadvantage of winning an election," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 811.10, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
- Enriqueta Aragones & Santiago Sanchez-Pages, 2010. "The disadvantage of winning an election," ESE Discussion Papers 194, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
- AMOROS, Pablo & PUY, M. Socorro, 2007. "Dialogue or issue divergence in the political campaign?," CORE Discussion Papers 2007084, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
- Josep M. Colomer & Humberto Llavador, 2008.
"An agenda-setting model of electoral competition,"
Economics Working Papers
1070, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Sep 2010.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aub:autbar:903.12. 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: (Xavier Vila)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.