We present an election model employing candidates with policy preferences, and show how re-election pressure induces candidates to keep their campaign promises in finitely repeated competitions. The game consists of two periods, each of which comprises an election followed by the winner's policy implementation. Following the first election, the incumbent may signal his dishonesty by implementing a policy different from his campaign promise. If the citizens care about political honesty, this choice reduces the incumbent's probability of re-election. An equilibrium is derived which demonstrates that even with term limits, an elected candidate's deviation from his campaign promise is controlled by the citizens' monitoring of his performance. Strong public response to the dishonesty of politicians thus serves as a commitment device.
- Electoral competition
- Policy bias
- Policy-motivated candidates
- Re-election pressure
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Business and International Management
- Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)