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Moderating Elections




This paper extends the spatial theory of voting to an institutional structure in which policy choices are a function of the composition of the legislature and of the executive. In an institutional setup in which the policy outcome depends upon relative plurality, each voter has incentives to be strategic since the outcome depends upon how everybody else votes. By applying to this game between voters the refinements of Strong Nash and Coalition Proof Nash we prove existence of equilibria with properties which appear intuitive and realistic. In fact, the model has several testable implications which seem consistent with some observed patterns of voting behavior in the United States and perhaps in other democracies in which the executive is directly elected. For instance, the model predicts: a) split-ticket voting; b) for some parameter values, a split government with different parties controlling the executive and the majority of the legislature; and c) the mid-term electoral cycle.
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Suggested Citation

  • Alesina, A. & Rosenthal, H., 1989. "Moderating Elections," Working papers 537, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:mit:worpap:537

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Greenberg, Joseph, 1989. "Deriving strong and coalition-proof nash equilibria from an abstract system," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 195-202, October.
    2. repec:cup:apsrev:v:81:y:1987:i:02:p:525-537_19 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:cup:apsrev:v:83:y:1989:i:02:p:373-398_08 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Rosenthal, Howard & Alesina, Alberto, 1989. "Partisan Cycles in Congressional Elections and the Macroeconomy," Scholarly Articles 4553031, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    5. Thomas R. Palfrey, 1984. "Spatial Equilibrium with Entry," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(1), pages 139-156.
    6. Alberto Alesina & Howard Rosenthal, 1988. "Partisan Cycles in Congressional Elections and the Macroeconomy," NBER Working Papers 2706, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Bernheim, B. Douglas & Peleg, Bezalel & Whinston, Michael D., 1987. "Coalition-Proof Nash Equilibria I. Concepts," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 1-12, June.
    8. repec:cup:apsrev:v:82:y:1988:i:02:p:405-422_08 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. repec:mes:challe:v:27:y:1984:i:2:p:59-61 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Austen-Smith, David & Banks, Jeffrey, 1988. "Elections, Coalitions, and Legislative Outcomes," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 82(02), pages 405-422, June.
    11. Wittman, Donald, 1977. "Candidates with policy preferences: A dynamic model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 180-189, February.
    12. 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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    Cited by:

    1. Poonam Gupta & Arvind Panagariya, 2014. "Growth and Election Outcomes in a Developing Country," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(2), pages 332-354, July.
    2. Poonam Gupta & Arvind Panagariya, 2011. "India: Election Outcomes and Economic Performance," Working Papers 9999, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University, revised Apr 2011.

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    voting ; economic models;


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