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False Alarm? Terror Alerts and Reelection

Author

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  • Roland Hodler
  • Simon Loertscher
  • Dominic Rohner

Abstract

We study a game with asymmetric information to analyze whether an incumbent can improve his reelection prospects using distorted terror alerts. The voters’ preferred candidate depends on the true terror threat level, and the voters are rational and therefore aware of the incumbent’s incentive to distort alerts. In equilibrium, a moderately “Machiavellian” incumbent reports low and high threat levels truthfully, but issues the same distorted alert for a range of intermediate threat levels. He thereby ensures his reelection for some threat levels at which he would not be reelected under full information.

Suggested Citation

  • Roland Hodler & Simon Loertscher & Dominic Rohner, 2007. "False Alarm? Terror Alerts and Reelection," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 995, The University of Melbourne.
  • Handle: RePEc:mlb:wpaper:995
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    File URL: http://fbe.unimelb.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/802797/995.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    6. Gregory D. Hess & Athanasios Orphanides, 2001. "War and Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(4), pages 776-810, August.
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    14. Wittman, Donald, 1989. "Why Democracies Produce Efficient Results," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1395-1424, December.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Terror alerts; voting and elections; signalling; political economics;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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