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On the benefits of party competition

Bernhardt, D.; Campuzano, L.; Squintani, F.; (2005) On the benefits of party competition. (ELSE Working Papers 122). ESRC Centre for Economic Learning and Social Evolution: London, UK. Green open access

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Abstract

We study the role of parties in a citizen-candidate repeated-elections model where voters have incomplete information. We identify a novel �party competition effect.�Compared with �at large� selection of candidates, party selection makes office-holders more willing to avoid extreme ideo- logical stands. Politicians follow party discipline, even in absence of a party-controlled reward mechanism. Voters of all ideologies benefit from the party-competition effect, which thus pro- vides a novel rationale for political parties. When politicians have an (imperfect) informational advantage over voters, we additionally �nd a �party screening e¤ect.� Parties select moderate candidates, because they anticipate that their candidate�s ideological record can be verifiably dis- closed through campaigning. Under reasonable functional assumptions, all voters benefit from party screening.

Type: Working / discussion paper
Title: On the benefits of party competition
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: http://else.econ.ucl.ac.uk/newweb/papers.php#2005
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Economics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/14562
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