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Winners and Losers of Early Elections: On the Welfare Implications of Political Blockades and Early Elections

  • Felix Bierbrauer

    ()

    (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn)

  • Lydia Mechtenberg

    (TU Berlin)

We develop a dynamic model of political competition. Each party has a policymotivated ideological wing and an office-motivated opportunistic wing. A blockade arises if inner-party conflict stops policy implementation. We use this model to study whether early elections should be used to overcome a blockade. They have the advantage that urgent decisions are no longer delayed, and the disadvantage that unsuccessful governments gain additional time in office. This may give rise to a time inconsistency. Voters are in favour of a constitution without early elections. However, in the middle of a political crisis, they are willing to abandon it.

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Paper provided by Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods in its series Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods with number 2008_50.

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Date of creation: Dec 2008
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Handle: RePEc:mpg:wpaper:2008_50
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  1. Alastair Smith, 1996. "Endogenous Election Timing In Majoritarian Parliamentary Systems ," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(2), pages 85-110, 07.
  2. Chappell, D. & Peel, D. A., 1979. "On the political theory of the business cycle," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 2(4), pages 327-332.
  3. Diermeier, Daniel & Merlo, Antonio, 1998. "Government turnover in parliamentary democracies," Bulletins 7453, University of Minnesota, Economic Development Center.
  4. John E. Roemer, . "The Democratic Political Economy Of Progressive Income Taxation," Department of Economics 97-11, California Davis - Department of Economics.
  5. Balke, Nathan S, 1990. " The Rational Timing of Parliamentary Elections," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 65(3), pages 201-16, June.
  6. Bernard Caillaud & Jean Tirole, 2002. "Parties As Political Intermediaries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1453-1489, November.
  7. Jussi Keppo & Lones Smith & Dmitry Davydov, 2006. "Optimal Electoral Timing: Exercise Wisely and You May Live Longer," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1565, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  8. Lachler, Ulrich, 1982. "On political business cycles with endogenous election dates," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 111-117, February.
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