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Auctioning Public Office

Campaign promises and campaign spending are modelled as integral parts of a signaling mechanism that transmits information about can- didates' abilities and proposed policies to the voters. We suggest that viewing promises and spending as inseparable parts of the same mechanism is essential in moving towards providing a microfoundation framework of political campaigns. Political competition in spending and promising is modeled as an auction which enables us to derive results about the laws governing political campaigns. The degree of commitment is crucial to the mixture of signaling used by candidates.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Macedonia in its series Discussion Paper Series with number 2008_08.

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Date of creation: Sep 2008
Date of revision: Sep 2008
Handle: RePEc:mcd:mcddps:2008_08
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.uom.gr/index.php?tmima=3

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  1. Alberto Alesina & Stephen E. Spear, 1987. "An Overlapping Generations Model of Electoral Competition," NBER Working Papers 2354, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. 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.
  3. Prat, Andrea, 2002. "Campaign Spending with Office-Seeking Politicians, Rational Voters, and Multiple Lobbies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 162-189, March.
  4. Amann, Erwin & Leininger, Wolfgang, 1996. "Asymmetric All-Pay Auctions with Incomplete Information: The Two-Player Case," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 1-18, May.
  5. Spence, A Michael, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-74, August.
  6. Snyder, James M, Jr, 1990. "Campaign Contributions as Investments: The U.S. House of Representatives, 1980-1986," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1195-1227, December.
  7. Maskin, Eric S & Riley, John G, 1984. "Optimal Auctions with Risk Averse Buyers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(6), pages 1473-1518, November.
  8. Andrea Prat, 2002. "Campaign Advertising and Voter Welfare," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(4), pages 999-1017.
  9. Tim Besley & Stephen Coate, . ""An Economic Model of Representative Democracy''," CARESS Working Papres 95-02, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  10. Kenneth Rogoff, 1987. "Equilibrium Political Budget Cycles," NBER Working Papers 2428, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Eddie Dekel & Matthew O. Jackson & Asher Wolinsky, 2008. "Vote Buying: General Elections," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(2), pages 351-380, 04.
  12. Kirkegaard Rene, 2008. "Comparative Statics and Welfare in Heterogeneous All-Pay Auctions: Bribes, Caps, and Performance Thresholds," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-32, September.
  13. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1996. "Electoral Competition and Special Interest Politics," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(2), pages 265-86, April.
  14. Costas Roumanias, 2005. "Signaling Through Political Campaigns: Elections As A Revelation Mechanism," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(3), pages 367-392, November.
  15. Kenneth Rogoff & Anne Sibert, 1986. "Elections and Macroeconomic Policy Cycles," NBER Working Papers 1838, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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