Policy Reversals and Electoral Competition with Privately Informed Parties
We develop a spatial model of competition between two policy-motivated parties. Parties know a state of the world which determines which policies are desirable for voters, while voters do not. The announced positions of the parties serve as signals to the voters concerning the parties' private information. In all separating equilibria, when the left-wing party attains power, the policies it implements are to the right of the policies implemented by the right-wing party when it attains power. The intuition behind this result is that when right-wing policies become more attractive, the left party moves toward the right in order to be assured of winning, while the right-wing party stays put in a radical stance.
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