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Thesis: 'Formal Models of Party Competition: Ideology and Experimentation'
When voters face uncertainty over the optimal choice, the outcome of today’s policy making influences their future beliefs. Politicians must solve a trade-off between taking their preferred action today, and revealing the optimal amount of information to maximise their future electoral prospects. By analysing this trade-off, I show that parties may sacrifice immediate electoral success to obtain a better policy tomorrow. Additionally, a minority faction may be willing to damage its own party in order to solve an ideological conflict with the leadership. Finally, I highlight a perverse consequence of electoral competition: only the worst candidates are willing to run for office in times of crisis.
Supervisors: Torun Dewan and Stephane Wolton
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