Public Choice

, Volume 109, Issue 1–2, pp 119–139

What do Candidates Maximize (and Why Should Anyone Care)?

  • Jeffrey Milyo

DOI: 10.1023/A:1012098104745

Cite this article as:
Milyo, J. Public Choice (2001) 109: 119. doi:10.1023/A:1012098104745


Much empirical work on Congressional elections implicitly assumesthat candidates are vote-maximizers; this may be a fairassumption for challengers, but it is not a good description ofincumbent behavior. I present a general intertemporal utilitymaximizing model of candidate behavior, which includes vote-maximization as a special case. I then demonstrate that thesemodels have important consequences for both the design andinterpretation of empirical work.

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeffrey Milyo
    • 1
  1. 1.Harris SchoolUniversity of ChicagoChicagoU.S.A

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