The Effect of Party Discipline on the Electoral Accountability of Politicians
This essay examines the influence of a politician's party on her accountability to the electorate. It also considers what the conjectured waning of political parties may imply for the effectiveness of elections in disciplining politicians, and for voter welfare. The paper models the election mechanism as a principal-agent relationship between the representative voter (principal) and the politician in office (agent). The party is heterogeneous, composed of factions whose preferences over policy differ. It may coerce the politician by threatening to remove her from the party's helm following certain policy choices. The main result is that putschist threats, despite being a distortion when the electoral mechanism is functioning well, can be welfare-enhancing in the presence of another distortion on the electoral mechanism. This serves to contribute to a theory of the political second-best.
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- John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
- Micael Castanheira & Benoît Crutzen & Nicolas Sahuguet, 2010.
"The Impact of Party Organization on Electoral Outcomes,"
Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 61(4), pages 677-695.
- Micael Castanheira De Moura & BENOIT S. Y. Crutzen & Nicolas Sahuguet, 2008. "The impact of party organization on electoral outcomes," Working Papers ECARES 2008_016, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
- B.S.Y. Crutzen & Micael Castanheira De Moura & Nicolas Sahuguet, 2010. "The impact of party organization on electoral outcomes," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/136806, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
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