A Signaling Model of Repeated Elections

A Signaling Model of Repeated Elections

Social Choice and Welfare.
2006, Vol. 27, Issue 2, Pages 251-261

I develop a two period model of elections in which voters’ first period actions affect candidates’ estimates of voter preferences and thus affect second period electoral and policy outcomes. I find an equilibrium in which centrist voters abstain in the first election, despite facing zero costs of voting and having a strict preference between the alternatives before them. The reason centrists abstain is to signal their preferences to future candidates and thereby promote future policy moderation.