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Guns, Environment, and Abortion: How Single-Minded Voters Shape Politicians' Decisions

Laurent Bouton (), Paola Conconi (), Francisco Pino and Maurizio Zanardi ()

No 12801, CEPR Discussion Papers from C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers

Abstract: We study how electoral incentives affect policy choices on secondary issues, which only minorities of voters care intensely about. We develop a model in which office and policy motivated politicians choose to support or oppose regulations on these issues. We derive conditions under which politicians flip-flop, voting according to their policy preferences at the beginning of their terms, but in line with the preferences of single-issue minorities as they approach re-election. To assess the evidence, we study U.S. senators' votes on gun control, environment, and reproductive rights. In line with our model's predictions, election proximity has a pro-gun effect on Democratic senators and a pro-environment effect on Republican senators. These effects only arise for non-retiring senators, who represent states where the single-issue minority is of intermediate size. Also in line with our theory, election proximity has no impact on senators' decisions on reproductive rights, because of the presence of single-issue minorities on both sides.

Keywords: Electoral incentives; Environment; Gun control; Reproductive Rights (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm
Date: 2018-03
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Related works:
Working Paper: Guns, Environment and Abortion: How Single-Minded Voters Shape Politicians Decisions (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: Guns, Environment, and Abortion: How Single-Minded Voters Shape Politicians' Decisions (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: Guns, Environment, and Abortion: How Single-Minded Voters Shape Politicians’ Decisions* (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: Guns, environment and abortion: how single-minded voters shape politicians decisions (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: Guns, Environment, and Abortion: How Single-Minded Voters Shape Politicians' Decisions (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: Guns, Environment, and Abortion: How Single-Minded Voters Shape Politicians' Decisions (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: Guns, Environment, and Abortion: How Single-Minded Voters Shape Politicians' Decisions (2018) Downloads
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