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Ideology as Opinion: A Spatial Model of Common-Value Elections

Joseph McMurray ()

American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, 2017, vol. 9, issue 4, 108-40

Abstract: Spatial election literature attributes voters' political differences to irreconcilable conflicts of interest. Alternatively, voters may merely hold differing beliefs regarding which policies best promote the public interest, as in the classic common-value model of Condorcet (1785). This paper shows how a spatial version of the common-value model explains empirical patterns of public opinion, ideology, electoral margins, and participation that are puzzling from the standard perspective, suggesting that voters may implicitly view politics as a contest between truth and error. If so, this has important consequences for political analysis.

JEL-codes: D71 D72 D83 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
Note: DOI: 10.1257/mic.20160040
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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmic:v:9:y:2017:i:4:p:108-40