A Model of Electoral Competition With Factional Sabotage
33 Pages Posted: 16 Feb 2019 Last revised: 2 Apr 2019
Date Written: March 26, 2019
Intra-party sabotage is widespread and detrimental to political parties. This paper examines the interaction between party leadership and factions in a probabilistic model of elections, where the occurrence of sabotage is driven by both intra-party and inter-party competition. Factions can devote their campaign resources to either promote the party or to undermine other factions. Leaders decide how to redistribute electoral spoils among factions in form of prizes, based on an imperfect indicator of factions’ resource allocation. Results show that, as electoral security and proportionality of the institutional setting increase, inter-party competition becomes less salient and in equilibrium factions invest more resources in sabotaging each other when sabotage helps to win the prize set by the leader. Anticipating these incentives, the leadership chooses prizes that lead factions to internalize the cost of working against the party. The model helps to rationalize the occurrence of corruption scandals driven by intra-party sabotage, and the observed dispersion in party organizational structure.
Keywords: Factions, Party Organization, Electoral Competition, Sabotage
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