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Auctioning Public Office

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Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Costas Roumanias, 2008. "Auctioning Public Office," Discussion Paper Series 2008_08, Department of Economics, University of Macedonia, revised Sep 2008.
  • Handle: RePEc:mcd:mcddps:2008_08
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alesina, Alberto & Spear, Stephen E., 1988. "An overlapping generations model of electoral competition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 359-379, December.
    2. 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.
    3. Andrea Prat, 2002. "Campaign Advertising and Voter Welfare," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(4), pages 999-1017.
    4. Kenneth Rogoff & Anne Sibert, 1988. "Elections and Macroeconomic Policy Cycles," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(1), pages 1-16.
    5. 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, April.
    6. 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.
    7. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1990. "Equilibrium Political Budget Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 21-36, March.
    8. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1996. "Electoral Competition and Special Interest Politics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(2), pages 265-286.
    9. 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.
    10. Maskin, Eric S & Riley, John G, 1984. "Optimal Auctions with Risk Averse Buyers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(6), pages 1473-1518, November.
    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. Costas Roumanias, 2005. "Signaling Through Political Campaigns: Elections As A Revelation Mechanism," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(3), pages 367-392, November.
    14. Michael Spence, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-374.
    15. 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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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Auctions; Elections; Political Competition; Political Campaigns; Campaign Promises; Campaign Spending.;

    JEL classification:

    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law

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