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Habit Formation, Strategic Extremism and Debt Policy

  • Egil Matsen
  • Øystein Thøgersen

We suggest a probabilistic voting model where voters’ preferences for alternative public goods display habit formation. Current policies determine habit levels and in turn the future preferences of the voters. This allows the incumbent to act strategically in order to influence the probability of re-election. Comparing to a benchmark case of a certain re-election, we demonstrate that the incumbent’s optimal policy features both a more polarized allocation between the alternative public goods and a debt bias.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2007/wp-cesifo-2007-12/cesifo1_wp2169.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2169.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2169
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  1. Edward L. Glaeser & Giacomo A. M. Ponzetto & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2004. "Strategic Extremism: Why Republicans and Democrats Divide on Religious Values," NBER Working Papers 10835, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. John Y. Campbell & John H. Cochrane, 1994. "By Force of Habit: A Consumption-Based Explanation of Aggregate Stock Market Behavior," CRSP working papers 412, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
  3. Rabin, Matthew, 2002. "A Perspective on Psychology and Economics," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt2wr3z049, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  4. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
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  8. 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.
  9. Alberto F. Alesina & Richard T. Holden, 2008. "Ambiguity and Extremism in Elections," NBER Working Papers 14143, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Glazer, A. & Konrad, K.A., 1995. "The Electoral Politics of Extreme Policies," Papers 94-95-23, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
  11. Christopher D. Carroll & Jody Overland & David N. Weil, 1995. "Saving and growth with habit formation," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 95-42, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  12. Per Pettersson-Lidbom, 2001. "An Empirical Investigation of the Strategic Use of Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(3), pages 570-583, June.
  13. Alex Cukierman & Sebastian Edwards & Guido Tabellini, 1989. "Seigniorage and Political Instability," NBER Working Papers 3199, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Cassing, James H & Hillman, Arye L, 1986. "Shifting Comparative Advantage and Senescent Industry Collapse," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 516-23, June.
  15. Caporale, Guglielmo Maria & Georgellis, Yannis & Tsitsianis, Nicholas & Yin, Ya Ping, 2009. "Income and happiness across Europe: Do reference values matter?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 42-51, February.
  16. Deaton, Angus, 1992. "Understanding Consumption," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288244, June.
  17. Sara J. Solnick & David Hemenway, 2005. "Are Positional Concerns Stronger in Some Domains than in Others?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 147-151, May.
  18. Matthew Rabin., 1997. "Psychology and Economics," Economics Working Papers 97-251, University of California at Berkeley.
  19. John Y. Campbell & John Cochrane, 1999. "Force of Habit: A Consumption-Based Explanation of Aggregate Stock Market Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(2), pages 205-251, April.
  20. Glazer, Amihai, 1989. "Politics and the Choice of Durability," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 1207-13, December.
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