Policy Platforms, Campaign Spending and Voter Participation
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 a popular explanation -- more accurate targeting of campaign spending -- is not consistent. While accurate targeting may lead to greater spending, it also leads to less polarization. We argue that a better explanation is that voters preferences have become more volatile from the point of view of parties at the moment of choosing policy positions. This both raises campaign spending and increases polarization. It is also consistent with the observation that voters have become less committed to the two parties.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Andrea Prat, 2002.
"Campaign Advertising and Voter Welfare,"
Review of Economic Studies,
Oxford University Press, vol. 69(4), pages 999-1017.
- David Austen-Smith, 1987. "Interest groups, campaign contributions, and probabilistic voting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 54(2), pages 123-139, January.
- Jackson, Matthew O. & Dekel, Eddie & Wolinsky, Asher, 2005.
1215, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
- Enriqueta Aragones & Zvika Neeman, 1994.
"Strategic Ambiguity in Electoral Competition,"
1083, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Stephen Coate, 2001.
"Political Competition with Campaign Contributions and Informative Advertising,"
NBER Working Papers
8693, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Stephen Coate, 2004. "Political Competition with Campaign Contributions and Informative Advertising," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(5), pages 772-804, 09.
- Barry Nalebuff & Ron Shachar, 1999.
"Follow the Leader: Theory and Evidence on Political Participation,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 525-547, June.
- Barry Nalebuff & Roni Shachar, 1997. "Follow The Leader: Theory And Evidence On Political Participation," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm57, Yale School of Management.
- Christian Schultz, 2003.
"Strategic Campaigns and Redistributive Politics,"
EPRU Working Paper Series
03-03, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
- Lindbeck, Assar & Weibull, Jorgen W., 1993. "A model of political equilibrium in a representative democracy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 195-209, June.
- Assar Lindbeck & Jörgen Weibull, 1987. "Balanced-budget redistribution as the outcome of political competition," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 52(3), pages 273-297, January.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cla:levarc:618897000000000935. 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: (David K. Levine)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.