Guns, Environment, and Abortion: How Single-Minded Voters Shape Politicians' Decisions

57 Pages Posted: 30 May 2018

See all articles by Laurent Bouton

Laurent Bouton

Georgetown University - Department of Economics

Paola Conconi

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) - European Center for Advanced Research in Economics and Statistics (ECARES)

Francisco Pino

Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) - European Center for Advanced Research in Economics and Statistics (ECARES)

Maurizio Zanardi

Lancaster University - Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 09, 2018

Abstract

We study how electoral incentives affect policy choices on secondary issues, which only minorities of voters care intensely about. We develop a model in which office and policy motivated politicians choose to support or oppose regulations on these issues. We derive conditions under which politicians flip-flop, voting according to their policy preferences at the beginning of their terms, but in line with the preferences of single-issue minorities as they approach re-election. To assess the evidence, we study U.S. senators’ votes on gun control, environment, and reproductive rights. In line with our model’s predictions, election proximity has a pro-gun effect on Democratic senators and a pro-environment effect on Republican senators. These effects only arise for non-retiring senators, who represent states where the single-issue minority is of intermediate size. Also in line with our theory, election proximity has no impact on senators’ decisions on reproductive rights, because of the presence of single-issue minorities on both sides.

Keywords: electoral incentives, environment, gun control, reproductive rights

JEL Classification: D720, I180, K380, Q000

Suggested Citation

Bouton, Laurent and Conconi, Paola and Pino, Francisco and Zanardi, Maurizio, Guns, Environment, and Abortion: How Single-Minded Voters Shape Politicians' Decisions (April 09, 2018). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 6963. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3185971

Laurent Bouton

Georgetown University - Department of Economics ( email )

Washington, DC 20057
United States

Paola Conconi (Contact Author)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) - European Center for Advanced Research in Economics and Statistics (ECARES) ( email )

Ave. Franklin D Roosevelt, 50 - C.P. 114
Brussels, B-1050
Belgium
32 2 650 2345 (Phone)
32 2 650 4475 (Fax)

Francisco Pino

Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) - European Center for Advanced Research in Economics and Statistics (ECARES) ( email )

Ave. Franklin D Roosevelt, 50 - C.P. 114
Brussels, B-1050
Belgium

Maurizio Zanardi

Lancaster University - Department of Economics ( email )

Lancaster LA1 4YX, LA1 4YX
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/staff/zanardi/

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
38
Abstract Views
171
PlumX Metrics