IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ecm/latm04/130.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Party Polarization and Electoral Accountability

Author

Listed:
  • Cecilia Testa

Abstract

In this paper we model the interaction between parties and candidates to highlight the mechanisms by which parties selecting candidates may discipline legislators. Parties are long-lived institutions providing incentives to short-lived candidates. Citizens have preferences over a multimentional policy space comprising an ideological and a monetary dimension. Candidates are policy motivated on the ideological dimension only and have opposing interest with respect to citizens on the monetary dimension. Policy motivation implies that candidates care more about winning elections the bigger the ideological distance from the candidate of the opponent party. Therefore, parties can use strategically polarization to provide incentives to candidates. Because of this strategic use, the polarization of the political race may diverge from the polarization of voters' preferences. In general, the polarization of the political race is a compromise between policy preferences of party members and electoral goals. Finally, when parties converge to the median voter, electoral accountability is inevitably compromised

Suggested Citation

  • Cecilia Testa, 2004. "Party Polarization and Electoral Accountability," Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings 130, Econometric Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:latm04:130
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://repec.org/esLATM04/up.32661.1081873230.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Alesina, Alberto & Spear, Stephen E., 1988. "An overlapping generations model of electoral competition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 359-379.
    2. Torsten Persson & Gérard Roland & Guido Tabellini, 1997. "Separation of Powers and Political Accountability," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1163-1202.
    3. Harrington, Joseph Jr., 1992. "The role of party reputation in the formation of policy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 107-121, October.
    4. Banks, Jeffrey S. & Sundaram, Rangarajan K., 1998. "Optimal Retention in Agency Problems," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 293-323, October.
    5. Coate, Stephen & Morris, Stephen, 1995. "On the Form of Transfers in Special Interests," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1210-1235, December.
    6. John Duggan, 2000. "Repeated Elections with Asymmetric Information," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(2), pages 109-135, July.
    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. Caillaud, B. & Tirole, J., 1999. "Party governance and ideological bias," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 779-789, April.
    9. Thomas R. Palfrey, 1984. "Spatial Equilibrium with Entry," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(1), pages 139-156.
    10. Jacques Cremer, 1986. "Cooperation in Ongoing Organizations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(1), pages 33-49.
    11. Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1999. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1243-1284.
    12. Poole, Keith T. & Rosenthal, Howard, 1996. "Are legislators ideologues or the agents of constituents?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 707-717, April.
    13. Bernard Caillaud & Jean Tirole, 2002. "Parties as Political Intermediaries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1453-1489.
    14. repec:cup:apsrev:v:69:y:1975:i:03:p:840-849_24 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Alesina, Alberto, 1988. "Credibility and Policy Convergence in a Two-Party System with Rational Voters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 796-805, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Mattozzi, Andrea & Merlo, Antonio, 2015. "Mediocracy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 32-44.
    2. Jain, Sanjay & Majumdar, Sumon & Mukand, Sharun W, 2014. "Walk the line: Conflict, state capacity and the political dynamics of reform," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 150-166.
    3. Mattozzi, Andrea & Merlo, Antonio, 2008. "Political careers or career politicians?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 597-608.
    4. Gil Epstein & Yosef Mealem & Shmuel Nitzan, 2013. "The efficacy and efforts of interest groups in post elections policy formation," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 77-105, February.
    5. Antonio Merlo, 2005. "Whither Political Economy? Theories, Facts and Issues," PIER Working Paper Archive 05-033, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 01 Dec 2005.
    6. Testa, Cecilia, 2010. "Bicameralism and corruption," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 181-198, February.
    7. Rune Sørensen, 2014. "Political competition, party polarization, and government performance," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 161(3), pages 427-450, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    parties; polarization; elections; accountability; convergence;

    JEL classification:

    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecm:latm04:130. 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: (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/essssea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.