Article

Voters, Candidates, and Parties

Stephen Ansolabehere

in The Oxford Handbook of Political Economy

Published in print June 2008 | ISBN: 9780199548477
Published online September 2009 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199548477.003.0002

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Political Science

Voters, Candidates, and Parties

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This article introduces the modern political economic theory of elections. It discusses the theory's foundations, which were laid down by Anthony Downs in An Economic Theory of Democracy. It shows that the economic theory of democracy has helped transform political science and economics and has introduced a methodology for theorizing about political strategy. This theory has also specified the implications for what government does and how well the democratic government represents the public. Several concepts are discussed, including valence issues, interest groups, candidate preferences, and electoral institutions.

Keywords: elections; Anthony Downs; economic theory of democracy; political strategy; democratic government; valence issues; candidate preferences; interest groups; electoral institutions

Article.  10411 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; Political Behaviour ; Political Institutions

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