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Electoral poaching and party identification
[Parteienzugehörigkeit und Wilderei beim Wahlgegner]


  • Kovenock, Dan
  • Roberson, Brian


This paper studies electoral competition in a model of redistributive politics with deterministic voting and heterogeneous voter loyalties to political parties. We construct a natural measure of party strength based on the sizes and intensities of a party’s loyal voter segments and demonstrate how party behavior varies with the two parties’ strengths. In equilibrium, parties target or poach a strict subset of the opposition party’s loyal voters: offering those voters a high expected transfer, while freezing out the remainder with a zero transfer. The size of the subset of opposition voters frozen out and, consequently, the level of inequality in utilities generated by a party’s equilibrium redistribution schedule is increasing in the opposition party’s strength. We also construct a measure of political polarization that is increasing in the sum and symmetry of the parties’ strengths, and find that the expected ex-post inequality in utilities of the implemented policy is increasing in political polarization.

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  • Kovenock, Dan & Roberson, Brian, 2005. "Electoral poaching and party identification
    [Parteienzugehörigkeit und Wilderei beim Wahlgegner]
    ," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Processes and Governance SP II 2005-17, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbmpg:spii200517

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    7. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1996. "Electoral Competition and Special Interest Politics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(2), pages 265-286.
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    9. Alessandro Lizzeri, 1999. "Budget Deficits and Redistributive Politics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(4), pages 909-928.
    10. repec:cup:apsrev:v:87:y:1993:i:04:p:856-869_10 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Aless & ro Lizzeri & Nicola Persico, "undated". "The Drawbacks of Electoral Competition," Penn CARESS Working Papers db8edf1dce2468924aca9e501, Penn Economics Department.
    12. Laslier, Jean-Francois & Picard, Nathalie, 2002. "Distributive Politics and Electoral Competition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 106-130, March.
    13. Nicola Persico & Alessandro Lizzeri, 2001. "The Provision of Public Goods under Alternative Electoral Incentives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 225-239, March.
    14. Nicolas Sahuguet & Nicola Persico, 2006. "Campaign spending regulation in a model of redistributive politics," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 28(1), pages 95-124, May.
    15. Wang, You-Qiang & Tsui, Kai-Yuen, 2000. " Polarization Orderings and New Classes of Polarization Indices," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 2(3), pages 349-363.
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    Cited by:

    1. Boyer, Pierre C. & Konrad, Kai A. & Roberson, Brian, 2017. "Targeted campaign competition, loyal voters, and supermajorities," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 49-62.
    2. Subhasish M. Chowdhury & Dan Kovenock & David Rojo Arjona & Nathaniel T. Wilcox, 2016. "Focality and asymmetry in multi-battle contests," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 16-12, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
    3. Kovenock, Dan & Roberson, Brian, 2011. "Non-partisan ‘get-out-the-vote’ efforts and policy outcomes," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 728-739.
    4. Crutzen, Benoît S.Y. & Sahuguet, Nicolas, 2009. "Redistributive politics with distortionary taxation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(1), pages 264-279, January.
    5. Dan Kovenock & Brian Roberson, 2009. "Is the 50-State Strategy Optimal?," Journal of Theoretical Politics, , vol. 21(2), pages 213-236, April.
    6. Dan Kovenock & Brian Roberson, 2009. "Inefficient redistribution and inefficient redistributive politics," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 139(3), pages 263-272, June.
    7. Dan J. Kovenock & Brian Roberson, 2015. "Generalizations of the General Lotto and Colonel Blotto Games," CESifo Working Paper Series 5291, CESifo Group Munich.

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