IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cca/wpaper/353.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Reference Dependence and Politicians' Credibility

Author

Listed:
  • Edoardo Grillo

Abstract

We consider a model of electoral competition in which two politicians compete to get elected. Each politician is characterized by a valence, which is unobservable to voters and can take one of two values: high or low. The electorate prefers politicians with high valence, but random shocks may lead to the victory of low-valence ones. Candidates make statements concerning their valence. We show that if voters are standard expected utility maximizers, politicians' statements lack any credibility and no information transmission takes place. By introducing reference-dependent preferences and loss aversion a là Koszegi and Rabin, we show that full revelation is possible. Indeed, if the electorate believes to candidates' announcements, such announcements will affect its reference point. As a result, if voters find out that a candidate lied, pretending to be high valence when she is not, they may decide to support the opponent in order to avoid the loss associated with appointing a candidate worse than expected.

Suggested Citation

  • Edoardo Grillo, 2014. "Reference Dependence and Politicians' Credibility," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 353, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  • Handle: RePEc:cca:wpaper:353
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.carloalberto.org/assets/working-papers/no.353.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Rabin Matthew, 1994. "A Model of Pre-game Communication," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 370-391, August.
    2. Berganza, Juan Carlos, 2000. "Two Roles for Elections: Disciplining the Incumbent and Selecting a Competent Candidate," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 105(1-2), pages 165-193, October.
    3. Charness, Gary & Dufwenberg, Martin, 2003. "Promises & Partnership," Research Papers in Economics 2003:3, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
    4. Joseph Farrell & Matthew Rabin, 1996. "Cheap Talk," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(3), pages 103-118, Summer.
    5. Ernst Fehr & Oliver Hart & Christian Zehnder, 2011. "Contracts as Reference Points--Experimental Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(2), pages 493-525, April.
    6. Larry G. Epstein, 2008. "Living with Risk," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(4), pages 1121-1141.
    7. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
    8. Daniel J. Seidmann & Eyal Winter, 1997. "Strategic Information Transmission with Verifiable Messages," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(1), pages 163-170, January.
    9. John Duggan, 2000. "Repeated Elections with Asymmetric Information," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(2), pages 109-135, July.
    10. Battigalli, Pierpaolo & Charness, Gary & Dufwenberg, Martin, 2013. "Deception: The role of guilt," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 227-232.
    11. Charness, Gary & Dufwenberg, Martin, 2010. "Bare promises: An experiment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 107(2), pages 281-283, May.
    12. Francesco Passarelli & Guido Tabellini, 2017. "Emotions and Political Unrest," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 125(3), pages 903-946.
    13. Botond Koszegi & Matthew Rabin, 2007. "Reference-Dependent Risk Attitudes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1047-1073, September.
    14. Daniel Kahneman & Jack L. Knetsch & Richard H. Thaler, 1991. "Anomalies: The Endowment Effect, Loss Aversion, and Status Quo Bias," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 193-206, Winter.
    15. David Gill & Victoria Prowse, 2012. "A Structural Analysis of Disappointment Aversion in a Real Effort Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 469-503, February.
    16. Loewenstein, George, 1987. "Anticipation and the Valuation of Delayed Consumption," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 97(387), pages 666-684, September.
    17. Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1991. "Loss Aversion in Riskless Choice: A Reference-Dependent Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1039-1061.
    18. George Loewenstein & Drazen Prelec, 1992. "Anomalies in Intertemporal Choice: Evidence and an Interpretation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 573-597.
    19. Jonathan Shalev, 2000. "Loss aversion equilibrium," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 29(2), pages 269-287.
    20. Geanakoplos, John & Pearce, David & Stacchetti, Ennio, 1989. "Psychological games and sequential rationality," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 60-79, March.
    21. Battigalli, Pierpaolo & Dufwenberg, Martin, 2009. "Dynamic psychological games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(1), pages 1-35, January.
    22. Farrell Joseph, 1993. "Meaning and Credibility in Cheap-Talk Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 514-531, October.
    23. Gill, David & Stone, Rebecca, 2010. "Fairness and desert in tournaments," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 346-364, July.
    24. Andrew Caplin & John Leahy, 2001. "Psychological Expected Utility Theory and Anticipatory Feelings," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 55-79.
    25. Green, Jerry R. & Stokey, Nancy L., 2007. "A two-person game of information transmission," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 135(1), pages 90-104, July.
    26. Gary Charness & Martin Dufwenberg, 2006. "Promises and Partnership," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(6), pages 1579-1601, November.
    27. Banks, Jeffrey S., 1990. "A model of electoral competition with incomplete information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 309-325, April.
    28. Sugden, Robert, 2003. "Reference-dependent subjective expected utility," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 111(2), pages 172-191, August.
    29. Marco Ottaviani & Peter Norman Sørensen, 2006. "Reputational cheap talk," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(1), pages 155-175, March.
    30. van Dijk, Eric & van Knippenberg, Daan, 1996. "Buying and selling exchange goods: Loss aversion and the endowment effect," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 517-524, August.
    31. Crawford, Vincent P & Sobel, Joel, 1982. "Strategic Information Transmission," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1431-1451, November.
    32. Pierpaolo Battigalli & Martin Dufwenberg, 2007. "Guilt in Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 170-176, May.
    33. Ying Chen & Navin Kartik & Joel Sobel, 2008. "Selecting Cheap-Talk Equilibria," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(1), pages 117-136, January.
    34. Botond Koszegi & Matthew Rabin, 2009. "Reference-Dependent Consumption Plans," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 909-936, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Francesco Passarelli & Guido Tabellini, 2017. "Emotions and Political Unrest," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 125(3), pages 903-946.
    2. Daniele Pennesi, 2013. "Endogenous Status Quo," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 314, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
    3. Alberto Alesina & Francesco Passarelli, 2015. "Loss Aversion in Politics," NBER Working Papers 21077, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Edoardo Grillo, 2013. "Reference Dependence, Risky Projects and Credible Information Transmission," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 331, Collegio Carlo Alberto.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    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:cca:wpaper:353. 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: (Giovanni Bert). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/fccaait.html .

    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.