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Prudence and success in politics

Author: Cadot, Olivier ; Sinclair-Desgagné, BernardINSEAD Area: Economics and Political Science ; Technology and Operations ManagementIn: Economics and Politics, vol. 4, 1992 Language: EnglishDescription: p. 171-189.Type of document: INSEAD ArticleNote: Please ask the Library for this articleAbstract: This paper considers a repeated election game between an infinitely-lived representative voter and finitely-lived, heterogeneous politicians. The voter's prior belief about the incumbent's competency is updated during the incumbent's first term in office. The voter's problem is to find a rule that simultaneously selects and controls politicians. We show that the simple performance rule, standard in literature, is justified as a time-consistent rule for a forward-looking voter. The outcome of a large class of perfect equilibria is "strategic caution": incumbent politicians slow down the voter's Bayesian learning by taking only weakly informative actions
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This paper considers a repeated election game between an infinitely-lived representative voter and finitely-lived, heterogeneous politicians. The voter's prior belief about the incumbent's competency is updated during the incumbent's first term in office. The voter's problem is to find a rule that simultaneously selects and controls politicians. We show that the simple performance rule, standard in literature, is justified as a time-consistent rule for a forward-looking voter. The outcome of a large class of perfect equilibria is "strategic caution": incumbent politicians slow down the voter's Bayesian learning by taking only weakly informative actions

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