Models of Electoral Competition - Three Essays in Political Economics.

This is the book containing my dissertation. If you follow the link you can download the PDF version.
Jan Klingelhöfer, Stockholm 2010
ISSN 0346-6892
ISBN 978-91-7447-109-0
Printed in Sweden by PrintCenter US-AB, Stockholm 2010
Distributor: Institute for International Economic Studies


Lexicographic Voting: Holding Parties Accountable in the Presence of Downsian Competition

The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy (2015, Contributions), 15(4): 1867–1892

This paper combines ideas from models of electoral competition with forward-looking voters and models of electoral competition with backward-looking voters. Two political parties can commit in advance to policy platforms, but not to a maximum level of rent extraction. In the case without uncertainty, the electorate can limit rents to the same extent as in a purely backward-looking model of accountability and the policy preferred by the voter who represents the median preferences of the electorate is implemented. In the case with uncertainty about the bliss point of the representative voter, the electorate has to accept higher rent seeking by the incumbent politician, but nonetheless retains some control over rent extraction. The policy positions of the two competing parties do not converge as they do in the case without uncertainty. I show in an example that this nonconvergence can increase the welfare of the representative voter.


What are the effects of electoral rules?

Economic Review, Volume 29, November 2011

The Swing Voters' Blessing.

Link to presentation on youtube

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization
In Press

Two candidates commit to policy platforms before an election takes place. All voters care about the quality of the candidates as well as the policies they offer. However, the quality differences are only observable to a limited number of informed voters. I show that if all uninformed voters are fully rational, they follow a strategy of making their voting decisions dependent only on the position of their own policy bliss point relative to the median bliss point. As in the standard case with only informed voters, the candidate who is preferred by the median voter wins. In equilibrium, this is the higher quality candidate and the policy implemented is the same as if all voters had been fully informed. I show that the existence of boundedly rational uninformed ‘swing voters’ increases the welfare of the majority of voters. These swing voters do not consider the fact that their vote influences their utility only when their vote is pivotal. Consequently, they always support the candidate whose policy platform they prefer. In this scenario, the winning high quality candidate's policy is closer to the median voter's bliss point. This ‘swing voters’ blessing’ increases the welfare of the majority of voters.


I analyse the interaction between post‐election lobbying and the voting decisions of forward‐looking voters. The existing literature has shown that in models with citizen candidates from a dispersed distribution of preferences, lobbying has no influence on implemented policy. In my model with ideological parties, lobbying is shown to have an effect on policy. In terms of welfare, I show that the median voter and the majority of voters can be better off with lobbying.

China's Regime-Switching Monetary Policy.

Economic Modelling (joint with Rongrong Sun)


Elections with International Relations Dominance.

In: G. Caballero und N. Schofield (eds.): State, Institutions and Democracy: Contributions of Political Economy. Springer: 193-203.

Rent Seeking and the Size of Parliamentary Majorities.

In: G. Caballero und N. Schofield (Hrsg.): Political Economy and Institutions. Springer 2015. 251-260.

Working papers

Blog entries