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Moral Hazard in Electoral Teams

Gary W. Cox, Jon Fiva (), Daniel M. Smith and Rune J. Sørensen

No 8357, CESifo Working Paper Series from CESifo

Abstract: How do parties motivate candidates to exert effort in closed-list elections? If each candidate’s primary goal is winning a seat, then those in safe and hopeless list positions have weak incentives to campaign. We present a model in which (i) candidates care about both legislative seats and the higher offices available when their party enters government; and (ii) parties commit to allocating higher offices monotonically with list rank. This model predicts that the volume and geo-diversity of candidates’ campaign efforts will increase as their list rank improves. Using new data cover-ing Norwegian parliamentary candidates’ use of mass and social media during the 2017 election, we find clear support for this prediction. As their list rank increases, candidates shift from intra-district to extra-district media exposure—which cannot help them win their own seats; but can improve their party’s chance of entering government, and thus their own potential share of the spoils.

Keywords: party lists; cabinet promotion; Gamson’s law; proportional representation; voter mobilization (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D72 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm, nep-mic and nep-pol
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