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

Politicians who change their mind on a policy issue are often confronted with the accusation of being flip-floppers. However, a changing environment sometimes makes policy revisions necessary.

The present analysis suggests that flip-flopping signals that politicians are poorly informed and is therefore detrimental to their reputation.

As a result, electorally concerned politicians can have an incentive to keep their initial policy choice unchanged, despite it being inefficient, in order to avoid the stigma of flip-flopping.

This distorted behaviour is not only damaging in terms of policy welfare, but also in terms of a worse selection of competent politicians through elections.

Variations of the baseline model are used to provide an in-depth discussion of several possible ways to address the unwillingness of politicians to respond to information: these include term limits, the presence of media and the partial delegation of actions to independent agents.

Signalling Valence in Primary Elections - R&R, Games and Economic Behavior (pdf)

I build a model in which primary elections are used by a political party to select a candidate to challenge an incumbent in a general election. Candidates differ in terms of a privately-observed valence and they have to commit to a policy platform before the primary election. The main and novel result of the paper is to show that primaries enable valent candidates to separate from non-valent ones by choosing more partisan platforms. In other words, primary elections select better candidates at the cost of increased polarization. I also endogenize the choice of holding primaries and find that it can lead to asymmetric equilibria, in which only one political party holds primaries, an outcome which is consistent for example with the cases of several social-democratic parties in Europe.

Scandals, Media Competition and Political Accountability - with Antoni-Italo de Moragas (CUNEF) (pdf)

We present a model of a media market in which a set of news outlets compete to break a 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 break the news without fact-checking.Therefore, as the number of media increases, the incumbent politician is more likely
to be accused of corruption by the media: this makes the re-election of incumbents
more difficult and increases political turnover. In particular, we show that if voters
consult with higher priority the media outlets that report about a scandal, increasing
the number of competitors decreases the probability of having an honest politician in


Policy Experimentation Under Disagreement (with Chris Li)
Gatekeeping Power and Media Bias (with Yujie Qian)
Interrogation Methods (with Federico Vaccari)

Giovanni Andreottola,
Apr 6, 2019, 3:18 PM
Giovanni Andreottola,
Jan 10, 2018, 2:03 PM
Giovanni Andreottola,
Dec 21, 2018, 4:02 PM