Reciprocity and Voting

36 Pages Posted: 15 Sep 2004

Date Written: June 2007

Abstract

In this paper we present a two-period model where a left-wing and a right-wing political party are solely interested in the policies they pursue. We assume that voters display reciprocal behavior. By contrast, political parties are not motivated by reciprocity. We show that reciprocity may have dramatic consequences for models of voting behavior. The incentive to be kind to the median voter may ensure that a position closer to the median voter's position is adopted even if political parties are not directly interested in being elected and cannot commit to a political stance during an election campaign. Moreover, reciprocity increases incumbency advantages.

Keywords: reciprocity, voting, median voter theorem

JEL Classification: D72

Suggested Citation

Hahn, Volker, Reciprocity and Voting (June 2007). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=590062 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.590062

Volker Hahn (Contact Author)

University of Konstanz ( email )

Box 143
Konstanz, 78457
Germany

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