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A neo-Downsian model of group-oriented voting and racial backlash

Abstract

We extend the standard Downsian framework to suppose that voters consider the identity of each candidate's supporters when deciding whom to support, rather than considering only the announced policy positions of the candidates. In particular we posit the existence of a class of voters whose support for a candidate reduces support by some other voters for that candidate. Our most important result concerns the conditions under which the addition to the electorate of new voters on one side of the policy spectrum shifts the equilibrium toward the opposite direction. The model can explain why enfranchisement of blacks did not immediately help the election of liberal candidates.

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Glazer, A., Grofman, B. & Owen, G. A neo-Downsian model of group-oriented voting and racial backlash. Public Choice 97, 23–34 (1998). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1004906708125

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Keywords

  • Opposite Direction
  • Public Finance
  • Policy Position
  • Policy Spectrum
  • Liberal Candidate