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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
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in: The Economic Journal (2008)
Handle: RePEc:ulb:ulbeco:2013/10003
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  14. Aragones, Enriqueta & Palfrey, Thomas. R., 2000. "Mixed Equilibrium in a Downsian Model With a Favored Candidate," Working Papers 1102, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
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