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Political Motivations

Steven Callander
The Review of Economic Studies
Vol. 75, No. 3 (Jul., 2008), pp. 671-697
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20185051
Page Count: 27
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Political Motivations
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Abstract

Are politicians motivated by policy outcomes or by the perks of office? To shed light on this important question, I develop a simple model of two candidate electoral competitions in which candidates may be either office or policy motivated. In a second departure from standard formulations, the model incorporates both campaign and post-election behaviour of candidates. In this environment, I find that office-motivated candidates are favoured in electoral competition but that their advantage is limited by the electoral mechanism itself and policy-motivated candidates win a significant fraction of elections. More importantly, I show that the competitive interaction among candidates of different motivations affects the incentives of all candidates--both office and policy motivated--and that this competition affects policy outcomes. I also extend the model to explore the decision of citizens to enter politics and show that in all equilibria policy-motivated citizens compose a majority of the candidate pool.

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