Social Choice and Welfare

, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 527–545 | Cite as

Polarization, Information Collection and Electoral Control

Original Paper

Abstract

We identify the conditions under which voters can induce political parties to collect information and to select policies which are optimal from the representative voter’s point of view. We show that when parties are office motivated the voting rule should encourage parties to collect information. Voting rules that focus on the opposition party sometimes dominate voting rules that focus on the incumbent party. When parties are policy motivated, they also have to be motivated to select good policies. Generally, it is easier to stimulate policy motivated parties than office motivated parties to collect information. However, in contrast to office motivated parties, policy motivated parties will sometimes select policies that conflict with the representative voter’s interest.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Alesina A (1988) Credibility and policy convergence in a two-party system with rational voters. Am Econ Rev 78:796–805Google Scholar
  2. Alesina A, Rosenthal H (1989) Partisan cycles in congressional elections and the macroeconomy. Am Polit Sci Rev 83:373–398CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Beniers K, Swank OH (2004) On the composition of committees. J Law, Econ Organization 20:353–378CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Calvert R (1995) Robustness of the multidimensional voting model: candidates’ motivations, uncertainty, and convergence. Am J Polit Sci 29:69–95CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Dewatripont M, Tirole J (1999) Advocates. J Polit Econ 107:1–39CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Dur R (2002) Why do policy makers stick to inefficient decisions?. Publ Choice 107:221–234CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dur R, Swank OH (2005) Producing and manipulating information. Econ J 115:185–199CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Ferejohn J (1986) Incumbent performance and electoral control. Publ Choice 50:5–25CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hibbs D (1977) Political parties and macroeconomic policy. Am Polit Sci Rev 71:1467–1487CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Lazear E, Rosen S (1981) Rank-order tournaments as optimum labor contracts. J Polit Econ 89:841–864CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Mueller DC (2003) Public choice III. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Myerson RB (1995) Analysis of democratic institutions: structure, conduct and performance. J Econ Perspectives 9:77–89Google Scholar
  13. Ossokina IV, Swank OH (2004) The optimal degree of polarization. Eur J Polit Econ 20:255–262CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Persson T, Roland G, Tabellini G (1997) Separation of powers and political accountability. Q J Econ 112:1163–1202CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Persson T, Tabellini G (2000) Political economics: explaining economic policy. The MIT Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  16. Schultz C (1996) Polarization and inefficient policies. Rev Econ Stud 63:331–344CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Schultz C (1999) Monetary policy, delegation and polarisation. Econ J 109:164–178CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Swank OH, Visser B (2003) Do elections lead to informed public decisions. Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper 2003-067/1Google Scholar
  19. Wittman DA (1977) Candidates with policy preferences: a dynamic model. J Econ Theory 14:180–189CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Erasmus University Rotterdam and Tinbergen InstituteRotterdamThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations