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On the Role of Public Opinion Polls in Political Competition
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for International Economic Studies.
1998 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This paper presents a model of strategic positioning during an election campagin in which candidates use results from opinion polls to extract information about voter preferences. It is shown that the distance between policy announcements decreases over the course of the campaign: candidates announce initial policies at either extreme of the political spectrum and commit to moderate final policies. An underdog effect arises: the difference in candidate popularity decreases as the campaign evolves. A public opinion poll constitutes a Pareto improvement if final policies are expected to become more moderate after the introduction of the poll.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: IIES , 1998. , 42 p.
Seminar Paper / Institute for International Economic Studies, Stockholm University, ISSN 0347-8769 ; 655
Keyword [en]
Opinion polls, Election campaigns, Underdog effect, Welfare
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-41062OAI: diva2:328073
Available from: 2010-07-01 Created: 2010-07-01 Last updated: 2010-07-02Bibliographically approved

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