Pandering, Faith and Electoral Competition
This paper investigates a common criticism of competitive elections: candidates pander to voters and choose the most popular platform, regardless of it being optimal for the voters. I study an election with two perfectly informed candidates. Voters share common values over the policy outcome of the election, but possess arbitrarily little information about which policy is best for them. Voters elect one of the candidates, effectively choosing between the two policies proposed by the candidates. The model is extended to include strategic voting, policy-motivated or imperfectly informed candidates, and heterogeneous preferences.
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