EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

A Model of Focusing in Political Choice

Salvatore Nunnari () and Jan Zapal ()

No 599, Working Papers from IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University

Abstract: This paper develops a theoretical model of voters' and politicians' behavior based on the notion that voters focus disproportionately on, and hence overweight, certain attributes of policies. We assume that policies have two attributes and that voters focus more on the attribute in which their options differ more. First, we consider exogenous policies and show that voters' focusing polarizes the electorate. Second, we consider the endogenous supply of policies by office-motivated politicians who take voters' distorted focus into account. We show that focusing leads to inefficient policies, which cater excessively to a subset of voters: social groups that are larger, have more distorted focus, are more moderate, and are more sensitive to changes in a single attribute are more in uential. Finally, we show that augmenting the classical models of voting and electoral competition with focusing can contribute to explain puzzling stylized facts as the inverse correlation between income inequality and redistribution or the backlash effect of extreme policies. JEL Codes: D03, D72, D78 Keywords: Focus; Attention; Salience; Political Polarization; Probabilistic Voting Model; Electoral Competition; Behavioral Political Economy; Income Inequality; Redistribution

New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm and nep-pol
Date: 2017
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (2) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
ftp://ftp.igier.unibocconi.it/wp/2017/599.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
Working Paper: A Model of Focusing in Political Choice (2017) Downloads
Working Paper: A Model of Focusing in Political Choice (2017) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:igi:igierp:599

Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from
http://www.igier.unibocconi.it/en/papers/index.htm

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in Working Papers from IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University via Rontgen, 1 - 20136 Milano (Italy).
Bibliographic data for series maintained by ().

 
Page updated 2019-04-23
Handle: RePEc:igi:igierp:599