An Overlapping Generations Model of Electoral Competition

34 Pages Posted: 28 Dec 2006 Last revised: 9 Jun 2022

See all articles by Alberto F. Alesina

Alberto F. Alesina

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

Stephen Spear

Carnegie Mellon University - Financial Economics

Date Written: August 1987

Abstract

This paper presents a dynamic model of political competition between two "parties" with different policy preferences. A "party" is explicitly modeled as a sequence of overlapping generations of candidates, all of whom face finite decision horizons. In general, there is a conflict between the interests of the individual policymakers and those of the "party" , which includes subsequent generations of candidates. We characterize this conflict and suggest a scheme of "intergenerational transfers" within the party which can resolve or mitigate this conflict. The paper shows how the "overlapping generations" model can be usefully applied to the political arena.

Suggested Citation

Alesina, Alberto F. and Spear, Stephen E., An Overlapping Generations Model of Electoral Competition (August 1987). NBER Working Paper No. w2354, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=349179

Alberto F. Alesina (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

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Stephen E. Spear

Carnegie Mellon University - Financial Economics ( email )

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