Information and Strategic Political Polarization
34 Pages Posted: 26 Mar 2007
We develop a model of electoral competition in which two purely opportunistic candidates select their policy position and invest in the quality of their platform. Policy positions are observed and, during the electoral campaign, the press reveals some information about quality. We demonstrate that when information is imperfect and quality endogenous, the Black-Downs median voter theorem fails to hold. For intermediate levels of information revelation, the unique equilibrium is one in which candidates propose policies that differ from the median voter's bliss point. By contrast, convergence to the median voter still occurs when information is (almost) always or (almost) never revealed. Our results also show that a profit-maximizing press may collect more information than optimal from a social viewpoint.
Keywords: Elections, Information, Moral Hazard
JEL Classification: D72
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