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The Salient Issue of Issue Salience

Arnaud Dellis ()

Journal of Public Economic Theory, 2009, vol. 11, issue 2, 203-231

Abstract: This paper proposes a model where the set of issues that are decisive in an election (i.e., the set of salient issues) is endogenous. The model takes into account a key feature of the policy‐making process, namely, that the decision‐maker faces time and budget constraints that prevent him from addressing all of the issues that are on the agenda. We show that this feature creates a rationale for a policy‐motivated decision‐maker to manipulate his policy choice in order to influence which issues will be salient in the next election. We identify three motivations for the decision‐maker to manipulate his policy choice for salience purposes. One is to make salient an issue on which he has an electoral advantage. A second motivation is to defuse the salience of an issue on which he is electorally weak, which is accomplished by either implicitly committing to a policy outcome or triggering a change of salient issue for the challenger. A third motivation is to induce the opposition party to nominate a candidate who, if elected, will implement a policy that the incumbent decision maker finds more palatable.

Date: 2009
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https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9779.2009.01407.x

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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:bla:jpbect:v:11:y:2009:i:2:p:203-231

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Journal of Public Economic Theory is currently edited by Rabah Amir, Gareth Myles and Myrna Wooders

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