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Party Governance and Political Competition with an Application to the American Direct Primacy

Listed author(s):
  • Castanheira, Micael
  • Crutzen, Benoît SY
  • Sahuguet, Nicolas

We analyse how the governance structure of political parties influences electoral competition. Parties choose their organization to manipulate the incentives of politicians to provide effort. We show that intra- and inter-party competition interact to shape these incentives. We also get new insights on the role of information, polarization, and on the value of rents from office. More extreme parties tend to prefer less democratic governance structures. Instead, democratic structures are preferred when voters are ill informed about the candidates’ performance and when the rents from office are low. We use our theory to interpret the introduction of the Direct Primary system in the USA at the beginning of the 20th century.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 4890.

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Date of creation: Feb 2005
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4890
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  1. Caillaud, B. & Tirole, J., 1999. "Party governance and ideological bias," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 779-789, April.
  2. Klaus M. Schmidt, 1997. "Managerial Incentives and Product Market Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(2), pages 191-213.
  3. Patrick Legros & Andrew F. Newman, 2007. "Competing for Ownership," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2007-003, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  4. Martin J. Osborne & Al Slivinksi, 1995. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," Department of Economics Working Papers 1995-01, McMaster University.
  5. Marin, Dalia & Verdier, Thierry, 2002. "Power Inside the Firm and the Market: a General Equilibrium Approach," CEPR Discussion Papers 3526, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Schmidt, Klaus M., 1996. "Managerial Incentives and Product Market Competition," CEPR Discussion Papers 1382, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Timothy Besley & Stephen Coate, 1997. "An Economic Model of Representative Democracy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 85-114.
  8. Aghion, Philippe & Dewatripont, Mathias & Rey, Patrick, 1999. "Competition, Financial Discipline and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 2128, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Carrillo, Juan D. & Mariotti, Thomas, 2001. "Electoral competition and politician turnover," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 1-25, January.
  10. Legros, Patrick & Newman, Andrew F., 1996. "Wealth Effects, Distribution, and the Theory of Organization," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 312-341, August.
  11. Carrillo, Juan D & Castanheira, Micael, 2002. "Platform Divergence, Political Efficiency and the Median Voter Theorem," CEPR Discussion Papers 3180, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Bernard Caillaud & Jean Tirole, 2002. "Parties as Political Intermediaries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1453-1489.
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