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The impact of party organization on electoral outcomes

  • Micael Castanheira De Moura
  • BENOIT S. Y. Crutzen
  • Nicolas Sahuguet

We present a model of electoral competition in which parties act as brands and use competition to select their candidates. We show that the forces that shape the competition between party representatives and independents rationalize the positive correlation between inequality and polarization documented by McCarty, Poole and Rosenthal (2006) for the US. We also show that, when voters are badly informed about the quality of candidates, it is optimal for party to use primaries to get an edge on independent candidates. This rationalizes the introduction of the American direct primary in the US at the beginning of the twentieth century.

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Paper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series Working Papers ECARES with number 2008_016.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Publication status: Published by:
Handle: RePEc:eca:wpaper:2008_016
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  1. Massimo Morelli, 2001. "Party Formation and Policy Outcomes under Different Electoral Systems," Economics Working Papers 0018, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
  2. 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.
  3. Bernard Caillaud & Jean Tirole, 2002. "Parties As Political Intermediaries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1453-1489, November.
  4. Tim Besley & Stephen Coate, . ""An Economic Model of Representative Democracy''," CARESS Working Papres 95-02, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  5. Gilat Levy, 2004. "A model of political parties," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 540, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  6. Nicolas Sahuguet, 2010. "Party Organization and Electoral Competition," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(2), pages 212-242.
  7. Osborne, Martin J & Slivinski, Al, 1996. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(1), pages 65-96, February.
  8. Levitt, Steven D, 1996. "How Do Senators Vote? Disentangling the Role of Voter Preferences, Party Affiliation, and Senate Ideology," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 425-41, June.
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