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Habit Formation, Strategic Extremism and Debt Policy

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  • Egil Matsen
  • Øystein Thøgersen

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Egil Matsen & Øystein Thøgersen, 2007. "Habit Formation, Strategic Extremism and Debt Policy," CESifo Working Paper Series 2169, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2169
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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp2169.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Pitsoulis, Athanassios & Siebel, Jens Peter, 2009. "Zur politischen Ökonomie von Defiziten und Kapitalsteuerwettbewerb," Discourses in Social Market Economy 2009-13, OrdnungsPolitisches Portal (OPO).
    2. repec:ejw:journl:v:12:y:2015:i:2:p:242-259 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    budget deficits; voting; extremism; habit formation;

    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
    • H62 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Deficit; Surplus

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