Electoral Intermediaries

33 Pages Posted: 19 Jun 2020

See all articles by Jorge A. Gallego

Jorge A. Gallego

Universidad del Rosario

Christopher Li

Vanderbilt University

Leonard Wantchekon

Princeton University

Date Written: May 25, 2020


Democratic elections increasingly involve political intermediaries (e.g. grassroots organizations or political brokers). We develop a model of electoral competition in which candidates must decide between brokers (patronage) and grassroots organizations. Our model shows that patronage is more likely when public offices are relatively more “valuable” for brokers. Moreover, setups that constrain candidates from funding grassroots campaigns and weaken ties between politicians and citizens make patronage more likely. We show that patronage negatively affects citizens’ welfare, as winning brokers turned civil servants undermine the quality of governments. Finally, our model explores the role of policy deliberation in curbing patronage politics.

Keywords: Patronage, Brokers, Clientelism, Elections

JEL Classification: D70, D72

Suggested Citation

Gallego, Jorge A. and Li, Christopher and Wantchekon, Leonard, Electoral Intermediaries (May 25, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3611346 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3611346

Jorge A. Gallego (Contact Author)

Universidad del Rosario ( email )

Calle 12 No. 6-25
Bogota, DC

Christopher Li

Vanderbilt University ( email )

Nashville, TN 37235
United States

HOME PAGE: http://christopherli.net

Leonard Wantchekon

Princeton University ( email )

22 Chambers Street
Princeton, NJ 08544-0708
United States

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