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Political Competition in Hard Times

  • Zudenkova, Galina

This paper analyzes a spatial model of political competition between two policy- motivated parties in hard times of crisis. Hard times are modeled in terms of policy- making costs carried by a newly elected party. The results predict policy divergence in equilibrium. If the ideological preferences of parties are quite diverse and extreme, there is a unique equilibrium in which the parties announce symmetric platforms and each party wins with probability one half. If one party is extreme while the other is more moderate, there is a unique equilibrium in which the parties announce asymmetric platforms. If the preferred policies of the parties are not very distinct, there are two equilibria with asymmetric platforms. An important property of equilibrium with asymmetric platforms is that a winning party necessarily announces its most preferred policy as a platform. JEL classification: D72. Keywords: Spatial model; Political competition; Two-party system; Policy-motivated parties; Hard times; Crisis.

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Paper provided by Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2072/182721.

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Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:urv:wpaper:2072/182721
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  1. Wittman, Donald, 1977. "Candidates with policy preferences: A dynamic model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 180-189, February.
  2. Alesina, Alberto, 1988. "Credibility and Policy Convergence in a Two-Party System with Rational Voters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 796-805, September.
  3. Banks, Jeffrey S., 1990. "A model of electoral competition with incomplete information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 309-325, April.
  4. Messner, Matthias & Polborn, Mattias K., 2004. "Paying politicians," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(12), pages 2423-2445, December.
    • Matthias Messner & Mattias Polborn, 2003. "Paying Politicians," Working Papers 246, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  5. Osborne, Martin J & Slivinski, Al, 1996. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(1), pages 65-96, February.
  6. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135.
  7. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1997. "An Economic Model of Representative Democracy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 85-114, February.
  8. Palfrey, Thomas R, 1984. "Spatial Equilibrium with Entry," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(1), pages 139-56, January.
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