Reciprocity and Voting
36 Pages Posted: 15 Sep 2004
Date Written: June 2007
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: Suggested Citation