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Findings from Massachusetts Institute of Technology Advance Knowledge in Theoretical Economics


  2012 APR 20 - (VerticalNews.com) -- According to the authors of a study from Needham, Massachusetts, "Theoretical analyses of party positions commonly assume that parties act as teams to maximize their legislative representation. This assumption runs counter to another line of theorizing in which individual legislators maximize their own chances of winning reelection."

  "To resolve this tension, the paper presents a model of party platform choice that relaxes only the assumption that parties are teams in the classical two-party spatial model. Platforms are chosen by majority rule among all legislators within a party. Politicians seek to win their own seats in the legislature, but they must run under a common party label. In both single-member district and proportional representation systems, equilibrium platforms are shown to diverge substantially, with one party located near the 25th percentile of the voter distribution and the other near the 75th percentile, rather than converge to the median," wrote S. Ansolabehere and colleagues, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

  The researchers concluded: "The model also yields predictions concerning short-term economic shocks, incumbency advantages, and gerrymandering."

  Ansolabehere and colleagues published their study in Economic Theory (When parties are not teams: party positions in single-member district and proportional representation systems. Economic Theory, 2012;49(3):521-547).

  For more information, contact S. Ansolabehere, MIT, Dept. of Polit Sci, Needham, MA, United States.

  Publisher contact information for the journal Economic Theory is: Springer, 233 Spring St, New York, NY 10013, USA.

  Keywords: City:Needham, State:Massachusetts, Country:United States, Region:North and Central America, Economic Theories, Theoretical Economics

  This article was prepared by VerticalNews Economics editors from staff and other reports. Copyright 2012, VerticalNews Economics via VerticalNews.com.

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