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Title: Essays in political economics
Author: Venkatesh, Raghul S.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6423 6119
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2016
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In Chapter 1, I develop a theory of activism and polarization in the context of electoral competition. I establish that the relationship between ideological polarization of activists and political polarization depends critically on the activists' willingness to engage in the campaign. Specifically, when the willingness to engage is within a threshold, increased partisanship among activists reduces political polarization – meaning candidates compromise rather than diverge. Welfare results suggests that partisan gap could hurt voters when activists have a high willingness to engage. In Chapter 2, I analyze a modified version of the classic Crawford-Sobel (CS) model of strategic communication between an informed Sender and uninformed Receiver, with the following two innovations: both players now take actions, and they are strategic substitutes. Contrary to the CS setup, the modified game does allow for perfect information revelation. When the Sender is able to compensate sufficiently for every state, there is full information revelation. When this is violated, there are only partial revelation equilibria. Under partial revelation, the Sender reveals information up to a threshold state, and pools beyond this threshold, resulting in loss of information. Welfare analysis suggests that a partial revelation equilibrium with higher threshold is both ex-ante Pareto efficient and interim efficient. In Chapter 3, we develop a model of alliance formation between players with the following features: substitutability in actions; a need for information sharing; preference heterogeneity; and, resource constraints. The main result is the following: with public communication, there is full information aggregation as long as preferences of players are sufficiently cohesive. We derive a precise bound to characterize cohesiveness, and provide an informational rationale for alliance formation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HB Economic Theory