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Optimal Primaries

  • Patrick Hummel
  • Richard Holden

We analyze a model of US presidential primary elections for a given party. There are two candidates, one of whom is a higher quality candidate. Voters reside in m different states and receive noisy private information about the identity of the superior candidate. States vote in some order, and this order is chosen by a social planner. We provide conditions under which the ordering of the states that maximizes the probability that the higher quality candidate is elected is for states to vote in order from smallest to largest populations and most accurate private information to least accurate private information.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19340.

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Date of creation: Aug 2013
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Publication status: published as Hummel, Patrick & Holden, Richard, 2014. "Optimal primaries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 64-75.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19340
Note: LE POL
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  1. Battaglini, Marco, 2004. "Sequential Voting with Abstention," Papers 05-19-2004, Princeton University, Research Program in Political Economy.
  2. Battaglini, Marco & Morton, Rebecca & Palfrey, Thomas R., 2006. "Efficiency, equity, and timing of voting mechanisms," Working Papers 1262, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  3. Klumpp, Tilman & Polborn, Mattias K., 2006. "Primaries and the New Hampshire Effect," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(6-7), pages 1073-1114, August.
  4. Bombardini, Matilde & Trebbi, Francesco, 2011. "Votes or money? Theory and evidence from the US Congress," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7-8), pages 587-611, August.
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  8. Hummel, Patrick & Holden, Richard, 2014. "Optimal primaries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 64-75.
  9. Brian Knight & Nathan Schiff, 2007. "Momentum and Social Learning in Presidential Primaries," NBER Working Papers 13637, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Ottaviani, Marco & Sorensen, Peter, 2001. "Information aggregation in debate: who should speak first?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(3), pages 393-421, September.
  11. Brams, Steven J. & Davis, Morton D., 1980. "Optimal Resource Allocation in Presidential Primaries," Working Papers 80-13, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  12. Deniz Selman, 2011. "Optimal Sequencing of Presidential Primaries," Working Papers 2011/09, Bogazici University, Department of Economics.
  13. Patrick Hummel & Brian Knight, 2012. "Sequential or Simultaneous Elections? A Welfare Analysis," NBER Working Papers 18076, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Strumpf, Koleman S, 2002. " Strategic Competition in Sequential Election Contests," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 111(3-4), pages 377-97, June.
  15. Sushil Bikhchandani & David Hirshleifer & Ivo Welch, 2010. "A theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom and cultural change as informational Cascades," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1193, David K. Levine.
  16. Banerjee, Abhijit V, 1992. "A Simple Model of Herd Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(3), pages 797-817, August.
  17. Steven Callander, 2007. "Bandwagons and Momentum in Sequential Voting," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(3), pages 653-684.
  18. David L. Ikenberry & Sundaresh Ramnath, 2002. "Underreaction to Self-Selected News Events: The Case of Stock Splits," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 15(2), pages 489-526, March.
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