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Electoral Competition and Special Interest Politics

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  • Gene Grossman
  • Elhanan Helpman

Abstract

We study the competition between two political parties for seats in a parliament. The parliament will set two types of policies: ideological and non-ideological. The parties have fixed positions on the ideological issues, but choose their non-ideological platforms to attract voters and campaign contributions. In this context, we ask: How do the equilibrium contributions from special interest groups influence the platforms of the parties? We show that each party is induced to behave as if it were maximizing a weighted sum of the aggregate welfares of informed voters and members of special interest groups. The party that is expected to win a majority of seats caters more to the special interests.

Suggested Citation

  • Gene Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1994. "Electoral Competition and Special Interest Politics," NBER Working Papers 4877, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4877
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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