Flip-flopping and Electoral Concerns - Accepted, The Journal of Politics (pdf)

I consider a model of political agency in which an incumbent politician takes two decisions in sequence, having private information about the correct decision in each period. I find that policy reversals signal that a politician is incompetent. This suggests that the stigma associated with flip-flopping can be rationalized as a simple heuristic to select competent politicians. Furthermore, the negative impact of policy reversals on reputation gives the incumbent politician an incentive to disregard new information and stick to his initial policy. When reputation concerns are sufficiently strong, these incentives inhibit policy responsiveness, resulting in an inefficient degree of policy persistence. Term-limited politicians, or politicians with particularly safe (or compromised) election prospects, are more likely to reverse decisions. Relatedly, politicians are only willing to reverse decisions after a sufficient amount of time has passed, or when there is sufficient evidence that the state of the world might have changed.

Signaling Valence in Primary Elections - Accepted, Games and Economic Behavior (pdf)

This paper presents a model of two-stage (primary and general) elections in which primary election candidates differ in terms of a privately observed quality dimension (valence). I show that primary election candidates have the incentive to signal their valence by means of their policy platform choice. There can be two types of separating equilibria in primary elections, with opposite implications concerning the relationship between valence and policy extremism. In an extremist equilibrium valent candidates choose more extreme policies than non-valent ones, whereas in a centrist equilibrium valent candidates move close to the incumbent from the opposing party. As a result, primary elections can foster the adoption of extremist policies, but they can also have the opposite effect. This result allows the model to also shed light on the circumstances in which party voters are likely to benefit from the introduction of primary elections.


Polarization and Policy Design (with Chris Li) -- (pdf)

Political polarization has been on the rise in various democracies. One major concern is whether this leads to more divisive policies. The paper addresses this issue in a dynamic model of policy design. We show that increasing electoral polarization may in fact motivate politicians to design policies with less partisan bias. More generally, partisan discrimination is non-monotonic in the level of mass polarization. The prospect of political turnover and the gradual resolution of uncertainty over the effects of the policy are key for the result. We also consider the impact of different electoral systems. Counter to conventional wisdom, a proportional system may lead to more particularistic policymaking than a majoritarian system.

Scandals, Media Competition and Political Accountability - with Antoni-Italo de Moragas -- New Draft Coming Soon!

We present a model of a media market in which a set of news outlets compete to break news. In our model, each media receives some information on whether a politician in office is corrupt. Media outlets can decide whether to break the story immediately or wait and fact-check, taking into account that if another media breaks the news, the profit opportunity disappears. We show that as the number of competitors increases, each outlet becomes more likely to publish unverified news. As a result, we uncover a non-monotonicity in the relationship between competition and social welfare: increasing the number of competitors initially improves accountability, but there is a critical number of competitors after which more competition decreases welfare, because of the worsening of publishing standards.


Strategic Extremism and Voters' Sophistication (with Elia Sartori)
Experts and Political Accountability (with Antoni-Italo De Moragas and Philipp Denter)
News Filtering on Social Media (with Anna d'Annunzio and Giovanni Immordino)
Interrogation Methods (with Federico Vaccari)

Giovanni Andreottola,
Nov 23, 2020, 3:40 AM
Giovanni Andreottola,
Nov 9, 2020, 3:29 AM
Giovanni Andreottola,
Nov 9, 2020, 3:28 AM