Politicians Systematically Converge to the Median Voter
Studies in political economy, public choice, and political science frequently compare what politicians do with what their voters want. The textbook median voter framework serves as the central building block for numerous models of policy choice. Theories on the scale and scope of government, taxation, and redistribution regularly rely on the median voter model. It predicts that politicians converge to the preferences of the median voter due to the forces of spatial electoral competition and representation of the median voter is a stable equilibrium. Despite its theoretical appeal, empirical evidence strongly points against the convergence implied by the median voter model.