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Primaries: the unifying force

Hortala-Vallve, Rafael and Mueller, Hannes (2009) Primaries: the unifying force. . London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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This article presents a formal model of intra-party politics. We think of parties as heterogeneous groups of individuals that aim at implementing a set of policies but differ in their priorities. Our results suggest that this heterogeneity of preferences plays a crucial role for party structure. When party heterogeneity is too large, parties are in danger of splitting into smaller but more homogeneous groups. We show in this context that primaries can have a unifying role. For example, primaries are introduced when a minoritarian party elite fears that a second group will split from the party. As a first step to test this idea, we suggest the use of roll-call data from the US congress to measure party factionalization on the state level. Some preliminary results are presented.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2009 The Authors
Divisions: Government
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
JEL classification: D - Microeconomics > D7 - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making > D72 - Economic Models of Political Processes: Rent-Seeking, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
D - Microeconomics > D7 - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making > D71 - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2010 12:38
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 11:50

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