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Winners and Losers of Early Elections: On the Welfare Implications of Political Blockades and Early Elections

Author

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  • Felix Bierbrauer
  • Lydia Mechtenberg

Abstract

We develop a dynamic model of political competition. Each party has a policymotivated ideological wing and an office-motivated opportunistic wing. A blockade arises if inner-party conflict stops policy implementation. We use this model to study whether early elections should be used to overcome a blockade. They have the advantage that urgent decisions are no longer delayed, and the disadvantage that unsuccessful governments gain additional time in office. This may give rise to a time inconsistency. Voters are in favour of a constitution without early elections. However, in the middle of a political crisis, they are willing to abandon it.

Suggested Citation

  • Felix Bierbrauer & Lydia Mechtenberg, 2008. "Winners and Losers of Early Elections: On the Welfare Implications of Political Blockades and Early Elections," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2008-071, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:hum:wpaper:sfb649dp2008-071
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. John E. Roemer, 1999. "The Democratic Political Economy of Progressive Income Taxation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(1), pages 1-20, January.
    2. Diermeier, Daniel & Merlo, Antonio, 2000. "Government Turnover in Parliamentary Democracies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 46-79, September.
    3. Alastair Smith, 1996. "Endogenous Election Timing In Majoritarian Parliamentary Systems ," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(2), pages 85-110, July.
    4. Chappell, D. & Peel, D. A., 1979. "On the political theory of the business cycle," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 2(4), pages 327-332.
    5. Balke, Nathan S, 1990. "The Rational Timing of Parliamentary Elections," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 65(3), pages 201-216, June.
    6. Jussi Keppo & Lones Smith & Dmitry Davydov, 2006. "Optimal Electoral Timing: Exercise Wisely and You May Live Longer," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1565, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    7. repec:cup:apsrev:v:89:y:1995:i:03:p:648-665_09 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. repec:cup:apsrev:v:99:y:2005:i:01:p:17-27_05 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Lachler, Ulrich, 1982. "On political business cycles with endogenous election dates," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 111-117, February.
    10. Bernard Caillaud & Jean Tirole, 2002. "Parties as Political Intermediaries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1453-1489.
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    Cited by:

    1. Fu, Qiang & Li, Ming, 2014. "Reputation-concerned policy makers and institutional status quo bias," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 15-25.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    early elections; political blockades; ideological rigidities;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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