IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/geo/guwopa/gueconwpa~18-18-15.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Guns, Environment, and Abortion: How Single-Minded Voters Shape Politicians' Decisions

Author

Abstract

We study how electoral incentives affect policy choices on secondary issues, which only minorities of voters care intensely about. We develop a model in which office and policy motivated politicians choose to support or oppose regulations on these issues. We derive conditions under which politicians flip-flop, voting according to their policy preferences at the beginning of their terms, but in line with the preferences of single-issue minorities as they approach re-election. To assess the evidence, we study U.S. senators’ votes on gun control, environment, and reproductive rights. In line with our model’s predictions, election proximity has a pro-gun effect on Democratic senators and a pro-environment effect on Republican senators. These effects only arise for non-retiring senators, who represent states where the single-issue minority is of intermediate size. Also in line with our theory, election proximity has no impact on senators’ decisions on reproductive rights, because of the presence of single-issue minorities on both sides.

Suggested Citation

  • Laurent Bouton & Paola Conconi & Francisco Pino & Maurizio Zanardi, 2018. "Guns, Environment, and Abortion: How Single-Minded Voters Shape Politicians' Decisions," Working Papers gueconwpa~18-18-15, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:geo:guwopa:gueconwpa~18-18-15
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://drive.google.com/file/d/19JXvPYpafwCB1tuxNKGbgKprbo_6luVr/view
    File Function: Full text
    Download Restriction: None
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Paola Conconi & Nicolas Sahuguet & Maurizio Zanardi, 2014. "Democratic Peace And Electoral Accountability," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 997-1028, August.
    2. Assar Lindbeck & Jörgen Weibull, 1987. "Balanced-budget redistribution as the outcome of political competition," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 52(3), pages 273-297, January.
    3. James M. Snyder, 2005. "Why Roll Calls? A Model of Position-Taking in Legislative Voting and Elections," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(1), pages 153-178, April.
    4. Laurent Bouton & Paola Conconi & Francisco Pino & Maurizio Zanardi, 2013. "Guns and Votes," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2013-39, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
      • Laurent Bouton & Paola Conconi & Francisco Pino & Maurizio Zanardi, 2014. "Guns and Votes," NBER Working Papers 20253, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
      • Bouton, Laurent & Conconi, Paola & Pino, Francisco & Zanardi, Maurizio, 2013. "Guns and Votes," CEPR Discussion Papers 9726, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
      • Laurent Bouton & Paola Conconi & Francisco Pino & Maurizio Zanardi, 2013. "Guns and votes," Working Papers 43819146, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
    5. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2002. "The Political Economy of Government Responsiveness: Theory and Evidence from India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1415-1451.
    6. Conconi, Paola & Facchini, Giovanni & Zanardi, Maurizio, 2014. "Policymakers' horizon and trade reforms: The protectionist effect of elections," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 102-118.
    7. Ebonya L. Washington, 2008. "Female Socialization: How Daughters Affect Their Legislator Fathers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 311-332, March.
    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 425-441, June.
    9. Jon P. Nelson, 2002. ""Green" Voting And Ideology: Lcv Scores And Roll-Call Voting In The U.S. Senate, 1988-1998," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 518-529, August.
    10. Bombardini, Matilde & Trebbi, Francesco, 2011. "Votes or money? Theory and evidence from the US Congress," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7-8), pages 587-611, August.
    11. Dixit, Avinash & Londregan, John, 1995. "Redistributive Politics and Economic Efficiency," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 89(4), pages 856-866, December.
    12. John A. List & Daniel M. Sturm, 2006. "How Elections Matter: Theory and Evidence from Environmental Policy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(4), pages 1249-1281.
    13. Snyder, James M. & Ting, Michael M., 2003. "Roll Calls, Party Labels, and Elections," Political Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(4), pages 419-444.
    14. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1994. "Protection for Sale," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 833-850, September.
    15. Conconi, Paola, 2003. "Green lobbies and transboundary pollution in large open economies," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 399-422, March.
    16. Herrnstadt, Evan & Muehlegger, Erich, 2014. "Weather, salience of climate change and congressional voting," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 435-448.
    17. Kenneth Rogoff & Anne Sibert, 1988. "Elections and Macroeconomic Policy Cycles," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(1), pages 1-16.
    18. Huber, Gregory A. & Hill, Seth J. & Lenz, Gabriel S., 2012. "Sources of Bias in Retrospective Decision Making: Experimental Evidence on Voters’ Limitations in Controlling Incumbents," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 106(4), pages 720-741, November.
    19. Kenneth A. Shepsle & Robert P. Van Houweling & Samuel J. Abrams & Peter C. Hanson, 2009. "The Senate Electoral Cycle and Bicameral Appropriations Politics," American Journal of Political Science, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 53(2), pages 343-359, April.
    20. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
    21. Mark Duggan, 2001. "More Guns, More Crime," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(5), pages 1086-1114, October.
    22. Ryan Amacher & William Boyes, 1978. "Cycles in senatorial voting behavior: implications for the optimal frequency of elections," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 5-13, January.
    23. Leo Kahane, 1999. "Gun lobbies and gun control: Senate voting patterns on the Brady Bill and the assault weapons ban," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 27(4), pages 384-393, December.
    24. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1990. "Equilibrium Political Budget Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 21-36, March.
    25. 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.
    26. Mark Duggan & Randi Hjalmarsson & Brian A. Jacob, 2011. "The Short-Term and Localized Effect of Gun Shows: Evidence from California and Texas," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(3), pages 786-799, August.
    27. Jordi Blanes i Vidal & Mirko Draca & Christian Fons-Rosen, 2012. "Revolving Door Lobbyists," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(7), pages 3731-3748, December.
    28. Robert Barro, 1973. "The control of politicians: An economic model," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 19-42, March.
    29. Peltzman, Sam, 1985. "An Economic Interpretation of the History of Congressional Voting in the Twentieth Century," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 656-675, September.
    30. Paola Conconi & Giovanni Facchini & Maurizio Zanardi, 2011. "Policymakers' Horizon and Trade Reforms," Development Working Papers 311, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano.
    31. Brian Knight, 2013. "State Gun Policy and Cross-State Externalities: Evidence from Crime Gun Tracing," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 5(4), pages 200-229, November.
    32. Claudio Ferraz & Frederico Finan, 2011. "Electoral Accountability and Corruption: Evidence from the Audits of Local Governments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(4), pages 1274-1311, June.
    33. Marianne Bertrand & Matilde Bombardini & Francesco Trebbi, 2014. "Is It Whom You Know or What You Know? An Empirical Assessment of the Lobbying Process," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(12), pages 3885-3920, December.
    34. Berry, Christopher R. & Gersen, Jacob E., 2011. "Election Timing and Public Policy," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 6(2), pages 103-135, September.
    35. Aidt, Toke S., 1998. "Political internalization of economic externalities and environmental policy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 1-16, July.
    36. Laurel Harbridge & Neil Malhotra, 2011. "Electoral Incentives and Partisan Conflict in Congress: Evidence from Survey Experiments," American Journal of Political Science, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 55(3), pages 494-510, July.
    37. Lott, John R, Jr & Mustard, David B, 1997. "Crime, Deterrence, and Right-to-Carry Concealed Handguns," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(1), pages 1-68, January.
    38. Langbein, Laura I, 1993. "PACs, Lobbies and Political Conflict: The Case of Gun Control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 77(3), pages 551-572, November.
    39. Weingast, Barry R & Shepsle, Kenneth A & Johnsen, Christopher, 1981. "The Political Economy of Benefits and Costs: A Neoclassical Approach to Distributive Politics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 642-664, August.
    40. Sendhil Mullainathan, 2002. "A Memory-Based Model of Bounded Rationality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(3), pages 735-774.
    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. Ulrich Matter & Alois Stutzer, 2019. "Does Public Attention Reduce The Influence Of Moneyed Interests? Policy Positions On Sopa/Pipa Before And After The Internet Blackout," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 57(4), pages 1879-1895, October.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Laurent Bouton & Paola Conconi & Francisco Pino & Maurizio Zanardi, 2021. "The Tyranny of the Single-Minded: Guns, Environment, and Abortion," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 103(1), pages 48-59, March.
    2. Laurent Bouton & Paola Conconi & Francisco Pino & Maurizio Zanardi, 2013. "Guns and Votes," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2013-39, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
      • Laurent Bouton & Paola Conconi & Francisco Pino & Maurizio Zanardi, 2014. "Guns and Votes," NBER Working Papers 20253, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
      • Laurent Bouton & Paola Conconi & Francisco Pino & Maurizio Zanardi, 2013. "Guns and votes," Working Papers 43819146, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
      • Bouton, Laurent & Conconi, Paola & Pino, Francisco & Zanardi, Maurizio, 2013. "Guns and Votes," CEPR Discussion Papers 9726, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Conconi, Paola & Facchini, Giovanni & Zanardi, Maurizio, 2014. "Policymakers' horizon and trade reforms: The protectionist effect of elections," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 102-118.
    4. Conconi, Paola & DeRemer, David R. & Kirchsteiger, Georg & Trimarchi, Lorenzo & Zanardi, Maurizio, 2017. "Suspiciously timed trade disputes," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 57-76.
    5. Conconi, Paola & DeRemer, David R. & Kirchsteiger, Georg & Trimarchi, Lorenzo & Zanardi, Maurizio, 2017. "Suspiciously timed trade disputes," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 57-76.
    6. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 2002. "Political economics and public finance," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 24, pages 1549-1659, Elsevier.
    7. Vergne, Clémence, 2009. "Democracy, elections and allocation of public expenditures in developing countries," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 63-77, March.
    8. Antràs, Pol & Padró i Miquel, Gerard, 2011. "Foreign influence and welfare," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 135-148, July.
    9. Paola Conconi & Giovanni Facchini & Maurizio Zanardi, 2011. "Policymakers' Horizon and Trade Reforms," Development Working Papers 311, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano.
    10. Dhammika Dharmapala & Etienne Lehmann, 2003. "A Median Voter Theorem for Postelection Politics," Working papers 2003-47, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    11. Bernardo P. Schettini & Rafael Terra, 2020. "Electoral incentives and Public Employees’ Retirement Systems in Brazilian municipalities," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 184(1), pages 79-103, July.
    12. John Lott & W. Reed, 1989. "Shirking and sorting in a political market with finite-lived politicians," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 61(1), pages 75-96, April.
    13. Bils, Peter & Duggan, John & Judd, Gleason, 2021. "Lobbying and policy extremism in repeated elections," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 193(C).
    14. Snyder Jr., James M. & Ting, Michael M., 2008. "Interest groups and the electoral control of politicians," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(3-4), pages 482-500, April.
    15. Raveh, Ohad & Tsur, Yacov, 2020. "Reelection, growth and public debt," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 63(C).
    16. Scott Gehlbach & Konstantin Sonin & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2010. "Businessman Candidates," American Journal of Political Science, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 54(3), pages 718-736, July.
    17. Rotunno, Lorenzo, 2016. "Political stability and trade agreements: Evidence for ‘endgame FTAs’," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 133-148.
    18. Dalle Nogare, Chiara & Kauder, Björn, 2017. "Term limits for mayors and intergovernmental grants: Evidence from Italian cities," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 1-11.
    19. Acemoglu, Daron & Golosov, Mikhail & Tsyvinski, Aleh, 2011. "Power fluctuations and political economy," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(3), pages 1009-1041, May.
    20. Mirabelle Muûls & Dimitra Petropoulou, 2013. "A swing state theory of trade protection in the Electoral College," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 46(2), pages 705-724, May.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Electoral incentives; Environment; Gun control; Reproductive Rights.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • K38 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Human Rights Law; Gender Law
    • Q00 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General - - - General

    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:geo:guwopa:gueconwpa~18-18-15. 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: . General contact details of provider: http://econ.georgetown.edu/ .

    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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Marcia Suss The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask Marcia Suss to update the entry or send us the correct address (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://econ.georgetown.edu/ .

    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.