Does Electoral Competition Create Incentives for Political Parties to Collect Information About the Pros and Cons of Alternative Policies?
Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper No. TI 04-133/1
16 Pages Posted: 23 Dec 2004
Date Written: December 2004
A well-known rationale for representative democracy is that direct democracy leads to a free-rider problem as to the collection of information. A problem with this rationale is that it takes for granted that representatives collect information. In this paper we examine whether or not electoral competition induces political parties or candidates to collect information about policy consequences. We show that the answer to this question depends on the cost of information collection. More surprisingly, we find that endogenizing information may lead to divergence of policy platforms.
Keywords: Information collection, spatial voting models
JEL Classification: D72, E83
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation