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Do candidates serve parties interests? Party Polarization as a discipline device

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Abstract

In this paper we model the interaction between parties and candidates to highlight the mechanisms by which parties selecting candidates may discipline legislators. The selection of candidates happens by majority voting of party members. We assume a multidimentional policy space comprising an ideological and a monetary dimension. Candidates are policy motivated on the ideological dimension only. Hence they care more about winning elections the bigger the ideological distance from the candidate of the opponent party. Therefore, parties can use strategically polarization to provide incentives to candidates. Because of this strategic use of candidate polarization, the polarization of the political race does not always reflect the polarization of voters’ preferences. In general, the polarization of the political race seems to be a compromise between policy preferences of party members and electoral goal as parties may use polarization strategically to provide incentives.

Suggested Citation

  • Cecilia Testa, 2003. "Do candidates serve parties interests? Party Polarization as a discipline device," Royal Holloway, University of London: Discussion Papers in Economics 03/13, Department of Economics, Royal Holloway University of London, revised Dec 2003.
  • Handle: RePEc:hol:holodi:0313
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    Keywords

    Rent-Seeking; Elections; Legislatures; Voting Behavior ; Political Parties; Polarization;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games

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