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Policy Platforms, Campaign Spending and Voter Participation

Author

Listed:
  • Helios Herrera

    (Centro de Investigacion Economica (CIE), Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico (ITAM))

  • David K. Levine

    (Department of Economics, UCLA)

  • Cesar Martinelli

    (Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM)

Abstract

We model electoral competition between two parties in a winner-take-all election. Parties choose strategically first their platforms and then their campaign spending under aggregate uncertainty about voters' preferences. We use the model to examine why campaign spending in the United States has increased at the same time that politics has become more polarized. We find that the popular explanation ­ better targeting of campaign spending ­ is not a likely explanation. While better targeting does lead to greater spending, it leads to less polarization. Instead we argue that the likely explanation is that voters references have become more volatile. This will both raise campaign spending and increase polarization. At the same time it is consistent with the observation that voters have become less committed to the two parties.

Suggested Citation

  • Helios Herrera & David K. Levine & Cesar Martinelli, 2005. "Policy Platforms, Campaign Spending and Voter Participation," Working Papers 0503, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM.
  • Handle: RePEc:cie:wpaper:0503
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Non Voting Paradox; Electoral Plataforms; Turnout;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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