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Political disagreement and information in elections

Alonso, Ricardo and Câmara, Odilon (2016) Political disagreement and information in elections. Games and Economic Behavior, 100. pp. 390-412. ISSN 0899-8256

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.geb.2016.10.009

Abstract

We study the role of re-election concerns in incumbent parties' incentives to shape the information that reaches voters. In a probabilistic voting model, candidates representing two groups of voters compete for office. In equilibrium, the candidate representing the majority wins with a probability that increases in the degree of political disagreement — the difference in expected payoffs from the candidates' policies. Prior to the election, the office-motivated incumbent party (IP) can influence the degree of disagreement through policy experimentation — a public signal about a payoff-relevant state. We show that if the IP supports the majority candidate, then it strategically designs this experiment to increase disagreement and, hence, the candidate's victory probability. We define conditions such that the IP chooses an upper-censoring experiment and the experiment's informativeness decreases with the majority candidate's competence. The IP uses the experiment to increase disagreement even when political disagreement is due solely to belief disagreement.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/08998...
Additional Information: © 2016 Elsevier Inc.
Subjects: J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
Sets: Departments > Management
Date Deposited: 28 Nov 2016 16:17
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2017 16:02
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/68393

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