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Information and strategic political polarization

  • Micael Castanheira De Moura
  • Juan Carrillo

We develop a model of electoral competition in which two opportunistic candidates select their policy position and invest in quality. Policy positions are observed and, during the campaign, the press reveals some information about quality. We demonstrate that when information is imperfect, the Black-Downs median voter theorem fails to hold. For intermediate information levels, the unique equilibrium is such that candidates propose policies different from the median voter's bliss point. By contrast, convergence to the median occurs when quality is (almost) always or (almost) never revealed. We also show that a profit-maximising press may collect more information than socially optimal. Copyright � The Author(s). Journal compilation � Royal Economic Society 2008.

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Paper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series ULB Institutional Repository with number 2013/10003.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Publication status: Published in: The Economic Journal (2008)
Handle: RePEc:ulb:ulbeco:2013/10003
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  1. Micael Castanheira, 2003. "Why Vote For Losers?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(5), pages 1207-1238, 09.
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  13. Torsten Persson & Gérard Roland & Guido Tabellini, 1997. "Separation of Powers and Political Accountability," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1163-1202.
  14. Thomas R. Palfrey, 1984. "Spatial Equilibrium with Entry," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(1), pages 139-156.
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  17. Castanheira, Micael & Crutzen, Benoît SY & Sahuguet, Nicolas, 2005. "Party Governance and Political Competition with an Application to the American Direct Primacy," CEPR Discussion Papers 4890, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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