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Consensus-building in Electoral Competitions: Evidence from Papal Elections

Maxime Menuet

Economics Bulletin, 2017, vol. 37, issue 4, 2826-2834

Abstract: Papal elections are outstanding grounds to study consensus-building in an electoral competition. In contrast to standard two-round elections, the conclave lasts until a candidate receives the two-thirds of votes. In this paper, we argue that this election process can be viewed as a "war of attrition" between two fractions: the "conservatives" and the "progressives". We show that the duration of conclaves positively depends on the political polarization of the College of Cardinals. This result is consistent with empirical evidences. Through an original data set, we show that the duration of conclaves show an upward trend with respect to a polarization parameter.

Keywords: Pope; Papal Conclave; Election; War of attrition (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C7 D7 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017-12-02
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