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Why Politicians Favor Redheads - A Theory of Tactical Horizontal Redistribution

Listed author(s):
  • Blomquist, Sören

    ()

    (Department of Economics)

  • Christiansen, Vidar

    ()

    (Department of Economics)

This paper studies a very pure form of “vote purchasing”. We consider whether it may be in the interest of a party to discriminate between groups that, possibly except for size, are identical in all welfare relevant spects, i.e. the groups are assumed to have the same income, needs, etc. To emphasise this aspect we label the groups brown-heads and redheads. The interpretation is that they differ only in some characteristic that is entirely irrelevant from a welfare perspective. There are no systematic differences between people with the same income. Taking two samples of people from an income class their political support will be identically distributed. We will show that even with these uniformity assumptions there can be strong incentives for political parties to undertake vote purchasing by favouring one of the identical groups at the expense of the other.

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File URL: http://www.nek.uu.se/pdf/2000wp10.pdf
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Paper provided by Uppsala University, Department of Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 2000:10.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: 04 Aug 2000
Handle: RePEc:hhs:uunewp:2000_010
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Department of Economics, Uppsala University, P. O. Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden

Phone: + 46 18 471 25 00
Fax: + 46 18 471 14 78
Web page: http://www.nek.uu.se/
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  1. Blomquist, Soren & Christiansen, Vidar, 1999. "The political economy of publicly provided private goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 31-54, July.
  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. Avinash Dixit & John Londregan, 1998. "Ideology, Tactics, and Efficiency in Redistributive Politics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(2), pages 497-529.
  4. Dixit, Avinash & Londregan, John, 1998. "Fiscal federalism and redistributive politics," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 153-180, May.
  5. Timothy Besley & Stephen Coate, 1997. "An Economic Model of Representative Democracy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 85-114.
  6. Dixit, Avinash K & Londregan, John, 1994. "Redistributive Politics and Economic Efficiency," CEPR Discussion Papers 1056, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Eva Johansson, 2003. "Tactical Redistribution Between Regions When Parties and Voters Care About Ideology," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 5(1), pages 95-120, 01.
  8. Alesina, Alberto, 1988. "Credibility and Policy Convergence in a Two-Party System with Rational Voters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 796-805, September.
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