Journal Article

Electoral Competition and Special Interest Politics

Gene M. Grossman and Elhanan Helpman

in The Review of Economic Studies

Published on behalf of Review of Economic Studies Ltd

Volume 63, issue 2, pages 265-286
Published in print April 1996 | ISSN: 0034-6527
e-ISSN: 1467-937X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/2297852
Electoral Competition and Special Interest Politics

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We study the competition between two political parties for seats in a legislature. The parties have fixed positions on some issues, but vary their positions on others in order to attract votes and campaign contributions. In this context, we examine whether special interest groups are governed by an electoral motive or an influence in their campaign giving, and how their contributions affect the equilibrium platforms. We show that each party is induced to behave as if it were maximizing a weighted sum of the aggregate welfares of informed voters and members of special interest groups. The party that is expected to win a majority of seats caters more to the special interests.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Economics

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