We develop a model of political competition with endogenous platform choices of parties and endogenous turnout. A main finding is that a party that is leading in the polls has an incentive to cater primarily to the core voters of the opposing party. A party that is lagging behind, by contrast, has an incentive to cater to its own base. We analyze the implications for redistributive taxation and characterize the political weights that competing parties assign to voters with different incomes. Finally, we relate the comparative statics predictions of our model to the asymmetric demobilization strategy in the German elections in the era of Merkel.
Political competition, Income Taxation, Turnout.;
- D72: Political Processes: Rent-Seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
- D82: Asymmetric and Private Information • Mechanism Design
- H21: Efficiency • Optimal Taxation
TSE Working Paper, n. 19-1050, November 2019