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Models of Politics

Paper Session

Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM

Atlanta Marriott Marquis, L505
Hosted By: Econometric Society
  • Chair: Konstantin Sonin, University of Chicago

Semi-Parametric Identification and Estimation of Ballot Stuffing

Anastasia Burkovskaya
University of Sydney


This paper introduces a model of electoral choice that allows for derivation of joint distribution of turnout and voter share from unobservable joint distribution of costs of voting and preferences over candidates. Under a set of mild assumptions, we show identification and provide non-parametric estimators of joint distribution of costs of voting and preferences over candidates from observable electoral data. In addition, the application of the electoral model offers estimators of ballot stuffing type of electoral fraud. All estimators are consistent and asymptotically normal.

Multi-Candidate Political Competition and the Industrial Organization of Politics

Avner Seror
Chapman university


In this paper, we present and micro-found a theory of multi-candidate political competitions that allows to study various issues related to the industrial organization of politics. The flexibility of our analytical framework is demonstrated through several applications on the topics of special interest politics, coalition formation in the legislature in proportional elections, redistribution under alternative electoral rules and franchise extension.

Media Freedom in the Shadow of a Coup

Konstantin Sonin
University of Chicago


Media freedom is a problem for any dictator as it resolves collective action problem in protests. However, a dictator might allow media freedom if there is a threat of a palace coup, the most frequent end of an autocratic leader tenure. We use a global game approach to analyze a situation, in which the incumbent leader trades off the possibility of protest against him and the possibility of protests aimed to restore his power if he is dismissed in a coup. Thus, media freedom serves as an ex ante protection for such a dictator, and the higher is the probability of a coup, the more media freedom the dictator would tolerate.

Why the Political World Is Flat: An Endogenous "Left" and "Right" in Multidimensional Elections

Joseph McMurray
Brigham Young University


This paper analyzes a multidimensional model of candidate positioning in common interest elections. In an essentially unique equilibrium, polarized candidates bundle issue positions that are logically related, effectively reducing the election to a single summary dimension. The model gives structure to prominent philosophical perspectives, and explains otherwise puzzling empirical features of elections such as why even loosely connected policies are bundled so consistently.
JEL Classifications
  • H0 - General
  • D8 - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty