Our model considers a majority election between two candidates—an ideologue committed to a fixed policy and an idealist who implements the ex post choice of the majority. Voters are aware that their individual rankings of policies may change after the election according to common or idiosyncratic shocks. We show that in equilibrium
the ideologue often beats the idealist, even when this choice hurts all voters. Inefficiency arises both for sincere and for strategic voters; we also show that it is more pervasive in the latter case. Groups may be inflexible even when each individual has a preference for flexibility. (JEL C72, D72)
"Ideologues Beat Idealists."
American Economic Journal: Microeconomics,
Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior