Polarization, Information Collection and Electoral Control

Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper No. TI 2004-035/1

29 Pages Posted: 5 Apr 2004

See all articles by Silvia Dominguez-Martinez

Silvia Dominguez-Martinez

University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam School of Economics (ASE)

Otto H. Swank

Erasmus University Rotterdam - Department of Economics; Tinbergen Institute Rotterdam (TIR)

Date Written: March 22, 2004

Abstract

We identify the conditions under which voters can induce political parties to collect information and to select policies which are optimal from the representative voter's point of view. We show that when parties are office motivated the voting rule should encourage parties to collect information. Voting rules that focus on the opposition party sometimes dominate voting rules that focus on the incumbent party. When parties are policy motivated, parties have also to be motivated to select good policies. Generally, it is easier to stimulate policy motivated parties to collect information than office motivated parties. However, in contrast to office motivated parties, policy motivated parties will sometimes select policies that conflict with the representative voter's interest.

Keywords: Political competition, information, polarization

JEL Classification: D72

Suggested Citation

Dominguez-Martinez, Silvia and Swank, Otto H., Polarization, Information Collection and Electoral Control (March 22, 2004). Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper No. TI 2004-035/1, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=524742 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.524742

Silvia Dominguez-Martinez (Contact Author)

University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam School of Economics (ASE) ( email )

Roetersstraat 11
Amsterdam, North Holland 1018 WB
Netherlands

Otto H. Swank

Erasmus University Rotterdam - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

Tinbergen Institute Rotterdam (TIR)

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands
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