Moral Hazard in Electoral Teams

63 Pages Posted: 17 Jun 2020

See all articles by Gary W. Cox

Gary W. Cox

Stanford University

Jon H. Fiva

Norwegian School of Management (BI) - Department of Economics

Daniel M. Smith

Harvard University - Department of Government

Rune Sørensen

BI Norwegian Business School

Date Written: 2020

Abstract

How do parties motivate candidates to exert effort in closed-list elections? If each candidate's primary goal is winning a seat, then those in safe and hopeless list positions have weak incentives to campaign. We present a model in which (i) candidates care about both legislative seats and the higher offices available when their party enters government; and (ii) parties commit to allocating higher offices monotonically with list rank. This model predicts that the volume and geo-diversity of candidates' campaign efforts will increase as their list rank improves. Using new data covering Norwegian parliamentary candidates' use of mass and social media during the 2017 election, we find clear support for this prediction. As their list rank increases, candidates shift from intra-district to extra-district media exposure—which cannot help them win their own seats; but can improve their party's chance of entering government, and thus their own potential share of the spoils.

Keywords: party lists, cabinet promotion, Gamson's law, proportional representation, voter mobilization

JEL Classification: D720

Suggested Citation

Cox, Gary W. and Fiva, Jon H. and Smith, Daniel M. and Sørensen, Rune, Moral Hazard in Electoral Teams (2020). CESifo Working Paper No. 8357, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3628944

Gary W. Cox (Contact Author)

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States
650-723-4278 (Phone)

Jon H. Fiva

Norwegian School of Management (BI) - Department of Economics ( email )

Oslo
Norway

Daniel M. Smith

Harvard University - Department of Government ( email )

1737 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/danielmarkhamsmith

Rune Sørensen

BI Norwegian Business School

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