Electoral Competition and Special Interest Politics

34 Pages Posted: 15 Jun 2001 Last revised: 7 Apr 2010

See all articles by Gene M. Grossman

Gene M. Grossman

Princeton University - Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs; Princeton University - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Elhanan Helpman

Harvard University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Date Written: October 1994

Abstract

We study the competition between two political parties for seats in a parliament. The parliament will set two types of policies: ideological and non-ideological. The parties have fixed positions on the ideological issues, but choose their non-ideological platforms to attract voters and campaign contributions. In this context, we ask: How do the equilibrium contributions from special interest groups influence the platforms of the parties? 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.

Suggested Citation

Grossman, Gene M. and Helpman, Elhanan, Electoral Competition and Special Interest Politics (October 1994). NBER Working Paper No. w4877. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=273584

Gene M. Grossman (Contact Author)

Princeton University - Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs ( email )

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Princeton University - Department of Economics ( email )

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CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) ( email )

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Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Elhanan Helpman

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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