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

  • Felix Bierbrauer
  • Lydia Mechtenberg

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.

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Paper provided by Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany in its series SFB 649 Discussion Papers with number SFB649DP2008-071.

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Length: 48 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hum:wpaper:sfb649dp2008-071
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  1. 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.
  2. John Roemer, 2003. "The Democratic Political Economy Of Progressive Income Taxation," Working Papers 9711, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  3. Diermeier, Daniel & Merlo, Antonio, 1998. "Government turnover in parliamentary democracies," Bulletins 7453, University of Minnesota, Economic Development Center.
  4. Lachler, Ulrich, 1982. "On political business cycles with endogenous election dates," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 111-117, February.
  5. Chappell, D. & Peel, D. A., 1979. "On the political theory of the business cycle," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 2(4), pages 327-332.
  6. Balke, Nathan S, 1990. " The Rational Timing of Parliamentary Elections," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 65(3), pages 201-16, June.
  7. Bernard Caillaud & Jean Tirole, 2002. "Parties As Political Intermediaries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1453-1489, November.
  8. Alastair Smith, 1996. "Endogenous Election Timing In Majoritarian Parliamentary Systems ," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(2), pages 85-110, 07.
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