Social Choice and Welfare

, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp 55–81 | Cite as

Electoral Platforms, Implemented Policies, and Abstention

Original Paper


This paper distinguishes between electoral platforms and implemented policies through a non-trivial policy-setting process. Voters are sophisticated and may care not only about the implemented policy but also about the platform they support with their vote. We find that while parties tend to polarize their positions, the risk of alienating their constituency prevents them from radicalizing. The analysis evidences that the distribution of the electorate, and not only the (expected) location of a pivotal voter, matters in determining policies. Our results are consistent with the observation of polarized platforms and moderate policies, and the alienation and indifference components of abstention.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departament d’Economia i EmpresaUniversitat Pompeu FabraBarcelonaSpain

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