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Campaigns, Political Mobility, and Communication

We present a model of elections in which interest group donations allow candidates to shift policy positions. We show that if donations were prohibited, then a unique equilibrium regarding the position choices of candidates would exist. With unrestricted financing of political campaigns two equilibria emerge, depending on whether a majority of interest groups runs to support the leftist or rightist candidate. The equilibria generate a variety of new features of campaign games and may help identify the objective functions of candidates empirically.

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File URL: https://www.ethz.ch/content/dam/ethz/special-interest/mtec/cer-eth/cer-eth-dam/documents/working-papers/WP-11-143.pdf
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Paper provided by CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich in its series CER-ETH Economics working paper series with number 11/143.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:eth:wpswif:11-143
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  1. 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.
  2. Gersbach Hans, 2012. "Contractual Democracy," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 8(3), pages 823-851, December.
  3. Roger Congleton, 1989. "Campaign finances and political platforms: The economics of political controversy," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 62(2), pages 101-118, August.
  4. Stephen Coate, 2004. "Pareto-Improving Campaign Finance Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 628-655, June.
  5. Wittman, Donald, 2007. "Candidate quality, pressure group endorsements and the nature of political advertising," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 360-378, June.
  6. Ignacio Ortuno Ortin & Christian Schultz, 2000. "Public Funding of Political Parties," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0735, Econometric Society.
  7. Donald Wittman, 2008. "Targeted political advertising and strategic behavior by uninformed voters," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 87-100, January.
  8. David Austen-Smith, 1987. "Interest groups, campaign contributions, and probabilistic voting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 54(2), pages 123-139, January.
  9. McKelvey, Richard D. & Ordeshook, Peter C., 1987. "Elections with limited information: A multidimensional model," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 77-99, August.
  10. Potters, Jan & Sloof, Randolph, 1996. "Interest groups: A survey of empirical models that try to assess their influence," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 403-442, November.
  11. Bernhardt, M. Daniel & Ingerman, Daniel E., 1985. "Candidate reputations and the `incumbency effect'," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 47-67, June.
  12. Potters, J.J.M. & Sloof, R. & van Winden, F.A.A.M., 1997. "Campaign expenditures, contributions and direct endorsements. The strategic use of information and money to influence voter behaviour," Other publications TiSEM 347b9f99-149a-4ab3-966f-f, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  13. Hans Gersbach & Verena Liessem, 2002. "Financing Democracy," CESifo Working Paper Series 821, CESifo Group Munich.
  14. Crawford, Vincent P & Sobel, Joel, 1982. "Strategic Information Transmission," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1431-51, November.
  15. Anderson, Simon P & Glomm, Gerhard, 1992. "Incumbency Effects in Political Campaigns," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 74(2), pages 207-19, September.
  16. Stephen Coate, 2001. "Political Competition with Campaign Contributions and Informative Advertising," NBER Working Papers 8693, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Gersbach, Hans, 1998. "Communication skills and competition for donors," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 3-18, February.
  18. Prat, Andrea, 2002. "Campaign Spending with Office-Seeking Politicians, Rational Voters, and Multiple Lobbies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 162-189, March.
  19. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1996. "Electoral Competition and Special Interest Politics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(2), pages 265-286.
  20. Thomas Stratmann, 2005. "Some talk: Money in politics. A (partial) review of the literature," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 124(1), pages 135-156, July.
  21. Vanberg, Christoph, 2008. ""One Man, One Dollar"? Campaign contribution limits, equal influence, and political communication," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(3-4), pages 514-531, April.
  22. Hans Gersbach, 2004. "The money-burning refinement: With an application to a political signalling game," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 33(1), pages 67-87, January.
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