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Set them (almost) free. Discretion in electoral campaigns under asymmetric information

Listed author(s):
  • Vardan, Baghdasaryan
  • Elena, Manzoni

The paper analyses a model of electoral campaigning as a problem of competitive delegation. We model a situation in which there is uncertainty about what the optimal policy should be and about the extent of candidates' bias. While voters know whether the candidate is left or right wing, the bias measures the extremity of the candidate. In this environment discretion may benefit voters as it allows the elected politician to adjust his policies to the state of the world. The paper shows that the optimal set of promises must be a closed interval, whose size is decreasing in the expected bias of the candidate. An example where the set of types is finite shows that an increase in the variability of candidates' types may either increase or decrease the level of discretion granted to politicians.

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File URL: http://dems.unimib.it/repec/pdf/mibwpaper354.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 354.

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Length: 22
Date of creation: 13 Dec 2016
Date of revision: 13 Dec 2016
Handle: RePEc:mib:wpaper:354
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  1. Ricardo Alonso & Niko Matouschek, 2008. "Optimal Delegation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(1), pages 259-293.
  2. Alberto Alesina & Alex Cukierman, 1990. "The Politics of Ambiguity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(4), pages 829-850.
  3. Ricardo Alonso & Niko Matouschek, 2008. "Optimal delegation," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 58665, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. Jean-François Laslier, 2006. "Ambiguity in Electoral Competition," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 195-210, May.
  5. Enriqueta Aragonès & Zvika Neeman, 2000. "Strategic Ambiguity in Electoral Competition," Journal of Theoretical Politics, , vol. 12(2), pages 183-204, April.
  6. Adam Meirowitz, 2005. "Informational Party Primaries and Strategic Ambiguity," Journal of Theoretical Politics, , vol. 17(1), pages 107-136, January.
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