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Guns, environment and abortion: how single-minded voters shape politicians decisions

Bouton, Laurent, Conconi, Paola, Pino, Francisco J and Zanardi, Maurizio (2018) Guns, environment and abortion: how single-minded voters shape politicians decisions. CEP Discussion Papers (CEPDP1534). Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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Abstract

We study how electoral incentives affect policy choices on secondary issues, which only minorities of voters care intensely about. We develop a model in which office and policy motivated politicians choose to support or oppose regulations on these issues. We derive conditions under which politicians flip-flop, voting according to their policy preferences at the beginning of their terms, but in line with the preferences of single-issue minorities as they approach re-election. To assess the evidence, we study U.S. senators' votes on gun control, environment, and reproductive rights. In line with our model's predictions, election proximity has a pro-gun effect on Democratic senators and a proenvironment effect on Republican senators. These effects only arise for non-retiring senators, who represent states where the single-issue minority is of intermediate size. Also in line with our theory, election proximity has no impact on senators' decisions on reproductive rights, because of the presence of single-issue minorities on both sides.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/
Additional Information: © 2018 The Authors
Divisions: Centre for Economic Performance
Subjects: J Political Science > JC Political theory
JEL classification: D - Microeconomics > D7 - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making > D72 - Economic Models of Political Processes: Rent-Seeking, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I1 - Health > I18 - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics > Q0 - General > Q00 - General
Sets: Research centres and groups > Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2018 14:18
Last Modified: 03 Apr 2019 23:03
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/88685

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