Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Research Papers in Economics,
Stockholm University, Department of Economics

No 2002:3: Political Media Contests and Confirmatory Bias

Adam Jacobsson ()
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Adam Jacobsson: Dept. of Economics, Stockholm University, Postal: Department of Economics, Stockholm University, S-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: This paper models a two-period media contest between two political candidates campaigning to win an election. Two main cases are examined. In the first case voters behave as unbiased Bayesian updaters when assessing political information. The second case considers voters suffering from confirmatory bias. In the first case I find that candidates spend equal amounts of their campaign funds in both periods in equilibrium. In the second case, candidates spend more in period one. A candidate with better media access (in period one) does, however, better if voters suffer from confirmatory bias than if they do not.

Keywords: Election campaigns; voting behavior; confirmatory bias. Election campaigns; voting behavior; confirmatory bias. Election campaigns; voting behavior; confirmatory bias. Election campaigns; voting behavior; confirmatory bias

JEL-codes: D72; D81; D83

25 pages, January 29, 2002

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