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The Political Economy of Dynamic Elections: A Survey and Some New Results

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  • John Duggan

    () (Department of Political Science, University of Rochester)

  • Cesar Martinelli

    () (Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science and Department of Economics, George Mason University)

Abstract

We survey and synthesize the political economy literature on dynamic elections in the two traditional settings, spatial preferences and rent-seeking, under perfect and imperfect monitoring of politicians’ actions. We define the notion of stationary electoral equilibrium, which encompasses previous approaches to equilibrium in dynamic elections since the pioneering work of Barro (1973), Ferejohn (1986), and Banks and Sundaram (1998). We show that repeated elections mitigate the commitment problems of both politicians and voters, so that a responsive democracy result holds in a variety of circumstances; thus, elections can serve as mechanisms of accountability that successfully align the incentives of politicians with those of voters. In the presence of term limits, however, the possibilities for responsiveness are attenuated. We also touch on related applied work, and we point to areas for fruitful future research, including the connection between dynamic models of politics and dynamic models of the economy.

Suggested Citation

  • John Duggan & Cesar Martinelli, 2015. "The Political Economy of Dynamic Elections: A Survey and Some New Results," Working Papers 1056, George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science.
  • Handle: RePEc:gms:wpaper:1056
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    1. ¿Política sin partidos?: elecciones presidenciales en el Perú
      by Cesar Martinelli in Foco Económico on 2016-02-27 03:02:51

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    Cited by:

    1. Brusco, Sandro & Roy, Jaideep, 2016. "Cycles in public opinion and the dynamics of stable party systems," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 413-430.
    2. repec:eee:jetheo:v:170:y:2017:i:c:p:426-463 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Hans Gersbach & Philippe Muller & Oriol Tejada, 2017. "A Dynamic Model of Electoral Competition with Costly Policy Changes," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 17/270, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
    4. César Martinelli & John Duggan, 2014. "The Political Economy of Dynamic Elections: A Survey and Some New Results," Working Papers 1403, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM.
    5. repec:aea:aecrev:v:107:y:2017:i:7:p:1824-57 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:spr:sochwe:v:49:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s00355-016-0989-5 is not listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    dynamic elections; electoral accountability; median voter; political agency; responsiveness;

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