Public Choice

, Volume 133, Issue 1–2, pp 31–40

Political extremism in the presence of a free rider problem



This paper provides an explanation for the emergence of political extremism in an environment in which a change in “ré gime” requires an investment that benefits more than one player. We show that in order to mitigate the effects of free riding, players may choose extreme positions. Further, we show that as the free rider problem becomes more severe, both parties move to more extreme positions in the same direction.


Political extremism Free rider Régime change Sequential game 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, BV 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsYork UniversityTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsNorthern Illinois UniversityDeKablUSA

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