IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/mia/wpaper/2013-04.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Information and Extremism in Elections

Author

Listed:
  • Raphael Boleslavsky

    (Department of Economics, University of Miami)

  • Christopher Cotton

    (Department of Economics, University of Miami)

Abstract

We show that informative political campaigns can increase political extremism and decrease voter welfare. We present a model of elections in which candidate ideology is strategically selected prior to a campaign which reveals information about candidate quality. Documented means by which campaigns can harm voters are not present in our model; special interest groups, fundraising, and biased or private information are not part of the analysis. Even under these optimistic assumptions, informative campaigns have negative consequences. Our results have implications regarding media coverage, the number of debates, and campaign finance reform.

Suggested Citation

  • Raphael Boleslavsky & Christopher Cotton, 2012. "Information and Extremism in Elections," Working Papers 2013-04, University of Miami, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:mia:wpaper:2013-04
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://bus.miami.edu/_assets/files/repec/WP2013-04.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2012
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Andrea Prat, 2005. "The Wrong Kind of Transparency," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 862-877, June.
    2. Kittsteiner, Thomas & Eyster, Erik, 2007. "Party platforms in electoral competition with heterogeneous constituencies," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 2(1), pages 41-70, March.
    3. repec:cup:apsrev:v:77:y:1983:i:01:p:142-157_24 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Moscarini, Giuseppe & Ottaviani, Marco, 2001. "Price Competition for an Informed Buyer," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 101(2), pages 457-493, December.
    5. Nicolas Sahuguet & Nicola Persico, 2006. "Campaign spending regulation in a model of redistributive politics," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 28(1), pages 95-124, May.
    6. Herrera, Helios & Levine, David K. & Martinelli, César, 2008. "Policy platforms, campaign spending and voter participation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(3-4), pages 501-513, April.
    7. Potters, Jan & Sloof, Randolph & van Winden, Frans, 1997. "Campaign expenditures, contributions and direct endorsements: The strategic use of information and money to influence voter behavior," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 1-31, February.
    8. Andrea Mattozzi & Antonio Merlo, 2007. "The Transparency of Politics and the Quality of Politicians," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 311-315, May.
    9. Palda, Filip & Palda, Kristian, 1998. "The Impact of Campaign Expenditures on Political Competition in the French Legislative Elections of 1993," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 94(1-2), pages 157-174, January.
    10. JuanD. Carrillo & Micael Castanheira, 2008. "Information and Strategic Political Polarisation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(530), pages 845-874, July.
    11. Ingemar Hansson & Charles Stuart, 1984. "Voting competitions with interested politicians: Platforms do not converge to the preferences of the median voter," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 44(3), pages 431-441, January.
    12. Andrea Prat, 2002. "Campaign Advertising and Voter Welfare," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(4), pages 999-1017.
    13. Dan Bernhardt & Odilon Câmara & Francesco Squintani, 2011. "Competence and Ideology," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 78(2), pages 487-522.
    14. Aragones, Enriqueta & Palfrey, Thomas R., 2002. "Mixed Equilibrium in a Downsian Model with a Favored Candidate," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 131-161, March.
    15. repec:cup:apsrev:v:103:y:2009:i:04:p:570-587_99 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Alberto F. Alesina & Richard T. Holden, 2008. "Ambiguity and Extremism in Elections," NBER Working Papers 14143, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Stephen Coate, 2004. "Political Competition with Campaign Contributions and Informative Advertising," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(5), pages 772-804, September.
    18. repec:cup:apsrev:v:87:y:1993:i:02:p:267-285_09 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Mathias Dewatripont & Ian Jewitt & Jean Tirole, 1999. "The Economics of Career Concerns, Part I: Comparing Information Structures," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(1), pages 183-198.
    20. repec:cup:apsrev:v:92:y:1998:i:02:p:401-411_21 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Bengt Holmström, 1999. "Managerial Incentive Problems: A Dynamic Perspective," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(1), pages 169-182.
    22. Bengt Holmstrom, 1979. "Moral Hazard and Observability," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 74-91, Spring.
    23. Bengt Holmstrom, 1999. "Managerial Incentive Problems: A Dynamic Perspective," NBER Working Papers 6875, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Archishman Chakraborty & Parikshit Ghosh, 2016. "Character Endorsements and Electoral Competition," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(2), pages 277-310, May.
    2. Alonso, Ricardo & Câmara, Odilon, 2016. "Political disagreement and information in elections," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 390-412.
    3. Câmara, Odilon & Bernhardt, Dan, 2015. "Learning about challengers," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 181-206.
    4. Christopher Cotton & Cheng Li, 2016. "Clueless Politicians," Working Papers 1341, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
    5. Motz, Nicolas, 2012. "Who emerges from smoke-filled rooms? Political parties and candidate selection," MPRA Paper 42678, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Marina Dodlova & Galina Zudenkova, 2016. "Incumbents' Performance and Political Polarization," CESifo Working Paper Series 5728, CESifo Group Munich.
    7. Shadmehr, Mehdi, 2015. "Extremism in revolutionary movements," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 97-121.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Campaigns; elections; persuasion; policy divergence; probabilistic voting;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mia:wpaper:2013-04. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christopher Parmeter). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/demiaus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.