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This paper studies the consequences for the electoral process of reputational and partisan imbalance; that is, asymmetries in voters- evaluations of candidates- quality for example, due to incumbency and of party labels for example, due to ideology. Our theory is predicated on the notion that voters are ``rationally ignorant- as they face cognitive constraints on their ability to acquire and process political information. Our model rationalizes key empirical regularities identified in the literature: the strong effect of incumbency on electoral outcomes, the existence of an incumbency spending advantage, as well as the moderate electoral impact of partisan redistricting. We explain why current methods used to identify the sources of the incumbency advantage are likely to produce biased estimates, and suggest ways to resolve this issue. We also highlight how campaign finance reforms should be precisely tailored to the type and level of imbalance they are meant to address.

Item Type: MPRA Paper -

Original Title: Electoral Imbalances and their Consequences-

Language: English-

Keywords: Elections; Attention; Imbalance; Reputation; Incumbency Advantage; Partisanship-

Subjects: D - Microeconomics > D7 - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making > D70 - GeneralD - Microeconomics > D7 - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making > D72 - Political Processes: Rent-Seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting BehaviorD - Microeconomics > D7 - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making > D78 - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and ImplementationD - Microeconomics > D8 - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty > D83 - Search ; Learning ; Information and Knowledge ; Communication ; Belief ; Unawareness-

Author: Prato, Carlo

Source: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/68650/

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