Divisive Politics and Accountability
The paper analyzes a political accountability game with an electorate of 'partisan' and 'independent' voters. It is shown that politicians have a strategic incentive to engage in 'divisive politics', that is, to force some independent voters to take sides, even if the direct electoral benefits are higher for their opponents than for themselves. By polarizing the electorate, the incumbent politician weakens the ability of independent voters to make him accountable for his policies in the common interest. Moreover, the interests of the incumbent and the opposition are aligned: the opposition also benefits from divisive politics because, in equilibrium, its election probability increases.
|Date of creation:||Apr 2011|
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- Eric Maskin & Jean Tirole, 2004.
"The Politician and the Judge: Accountability in Government,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 1034-1054, September.
- Eric Maskin, 2003. "The Politician and the Judge: Accountability in Government," Theory workshop papers 505798000000000076, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Eric Maskin & Jean Tirole, 2004. "The Politician and the Judge: Accountability in Government," Economics Working Papers 0020, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
- Kiss, Áron, 2009.
"Coalition politics and accountability
[Politische Koalitionen und Verantwortung]," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Processes and Governance SP II 2009-01, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
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"Incumbent Behavior: Vote Seeking, Tax Setting and Yardstick Competition,"
NBER Working Papers
4041, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Besley, Timothy & Case, Anne, 1995. "Incumbent Behavior: Vote-Seeking, Tax-Setting, and Yardstick Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 25-45, March.
- John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
- Geys, Benny & Vermeir, Jan, 2008.
"Party cues and yardstick voting
[Parteien und 'Yardstick'-Wählen]," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Processes and Governance SP II 2008-05, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
- Torsten Persson & Gerard Roland & Guido Tabellini, .
"Separation of Powers and Political Accountability,"
100, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
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