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Opportunist politicians and the evolution of electoral competition

Author

Listed:
  • Jean-François Laslier

    () (PSE - Paris School of Economics, PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris)

  • Bilge Ozturk Goktuna

    (GSU - Galatasaray University)

Abstract

This paper studies a uni-dimensional model of electoral competition between two parties with two types of politicians. ‘Opportunist' ones care only about the spoils of the office, and ‘militant' ones have ideological preferences on the policy space. Opportunist politicians review their affiliations and may switch parties, seeking better election prospects. In this framework, we compare a winner-take-all system, where all the spoils of office go to the winner, to a proportional system, where the spoils of office are split among the two parties in proportion to their vote shares. We study the existence of short term political equilibria and the dynamics and stability of policies and of party membership decisions. In the long run, it is possible that proportional systems see opportunist politicians spread over all parties, but this situation is unstable in winner-take-all systems.

Suggested Citation

  • Jean-François Laslier & Bilge Ozturk Goktuna, 2016. "Opportunist politicians and the evolution of electoral competition," PSE - Labex "OSE-Ouvrir la Science Economique" halshs-01310250, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:pseose:halshs-01310250
    DOI: 10.1007/s00191-016-0444-x
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01310250
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Opportunism; Political dynamics; Party composition;

    JEL classification:

    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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