Parties in Elections, Parties in Government, and Partisan Bias

Stanford GSB Research Paper No. 1862

48 Pages Posted: 19 Aug 2004

See all articles by Keith Krehbiel

Keith Krehbiel

Stanford Graduate School of Business

Adam Meirowitz

David Eccles School of Business, University of Utah

Thomas Romer

Princeton University - Department of Political Science; Princeton University - Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs

Date Written: August 2004

Abstract

Political parties are active when citizens choose among candidates in elections, and when winning candidates choose among policy alternatives in government. But the inextricably linked institutions, incentives, and behavior that determine these multistage choices are substantively complex and analytically unwieldy, particularly if modeled explicitly and considered in total: from citizen preferences through government outcomes. To strike a balance between complexity and tractability, we modify standard spatial models of electoral competition and governmental policy-making and develop a model to study how components of partisanship - such as candidate platform separation in elections, party-ID-based voting, national partisan tides, and party-disciplined behavior in the legislature - are related to outcomes that deviate systematically from a citizen-based central benchmark. Such deviation is called partisan bias. The study reveals that none of the party-in-electorate conditions is capable of producing biased policy outcomes independently. Specified combinations of conditions, however, can significantly increase the bias and/or the variance of policy outcomes, sometimes in subtle ways.

Keywords: legislation/regulation, politics, political parties

Suggested Citation

Krehbiel, Keith and Meirowitz, Adam and Romer, Thomas, Parties in Elections, Parties in Government, and Partisan Bias (August 2004). Stanford GSB Research Paper No. 1862, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=577822 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.577822

Keith Krehbiel (Contact Author)

Stanford Graduate School of Business ( email )

655 Knight Way
Stanford, CA 94305-5015
United States

Adam Meirowitz

David Eccles School of Business, University of Utah ( email )

Garff Building
Salt Lake City, UT 84112
United States
6094391432 (Phone)

Thomas Romer

Princeton University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Corwin Hall
Princeton, NJ 08544-1013
United States

Princeton University - Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs ( email )

Princeton University
Princeton, NJ 08544-1021
United States

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